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Inspiring Recovery

Deputy Secretary Merrigan surveys produce being grown by urban farmers in New Orleans.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan surveys produce being grown by urban farmers in New Orleans.

Earlier this week, I traveled to New Orleans with Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan to meet with the local farming and fishing community. What I saw at the Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation (MQVN) was inspirational.

In May 2006, MQVN was established to assist Vietnamese-American community in the area to rebuild and recover from previous disasters. The local fishermen,  displaced by Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, may have taken a hit to their business, but they most certainly have not lost their spirit.

In fact, to continue meeting the needs of local restaurants, many local fishermen have taken up aquaponic farming to provide a new revenue stream in case a lack of fishing impacts their bottom line. Above is a photo from one of these urban farms that the Deputy visited where the aquaponic farm was constructed in the farmer’s backyard.

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