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DVA Tailgiving 2019: for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

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A t-shirt fundraising drive to support coastal wetland restoration in Louisiana

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[for a tl;dr appeal, please skip directly to the bottom of this article]

DVA Tailgating has been feeding hungry (and thirsty) mouths on LSU gamedays for more than a decade. I think we’re also the official ATVS tailgate by now (I’ll leave that up to PK’s discretion). We are sons and daughters from all parts Louisiana who believe in our state’s ability to do good for itself and for others. The second annual DVA Tailgiving drive will have two shirts available for purchase again this year and is focused on Louisiana herself, trying to stem the loss of our coastal wetlands. Net proceeds from all shirt sales and donations will go to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL).

Why Coastal Restoration? Why CRCL?

Louisiana’s wetlands are vital to our health as a state and serve many key purposes. First, they support the largest commercial fishery in the lower 48 states and one of the best recreational fisheries in the world. According the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, more than 1 million lbs. (you read that correctly) of seafood are landed from our waters annually. Forty-one percent of seafood landings in the United States happen in the Gulf of Mexico, and 71% of Gulf Coastal harvests occur in Louisiana.

The Boot also contains 37% of the saltwater marshes in the lower 48 states. In addition, approximately half of the United States’ saltwater marshes line the Gulf Coast. Essentially, Louisiana acts as stewards for a majority of this ecosystem type that serves as a go-between for nature and the communities that rely on the commercial shipping, commercial and recreational fishing, and oil and gas industries to survive. Moreover, Louisiana’s wetlands also serve as barriers to protect these coastal communities and industries from tropical weather systems.

I say all that to say this: according to the US Geological Survey, Louisiana has lost approximately 5,197 square kilometers of coastline from 1932 to 2016. To put that into context, wetland losses as of 2011 equaled an area the size of Delaware (go Blue Hens). Rates of coastal erosion have slowed in recent years, although this is primarily a result of fewer major hurricanes making landfall in Louisiana. We are losing a vital resource for our state and our nation to the tune of an area the size of a football field every 30 -100 minutes.

Thankfully, organizations like CRCL are there to help slow the loss of our wetlands and restore our coast. CRCL conducts numerous projects along our coastline each year, including oyster shell recycling, restoration planting of native marsh flora, and construction and maintenance of reefs out of natural materials (such as oyster shells!). CRCL also works in conjunction with local, state, and federal government agencies to carry out different projects under the auspices of the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA, or kwip-ra if you want to be cool). Fundraising efforts allow CRCL to engage in these projects and continue their efforts to restore Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

The Shirts

Both designs are $25 (plus a fee for shipping), and net proceeds from the t-shirt drive will be donated to CRCL at the end of the fundraiser. CustomInk Fundraising will be responsible for taking and fulfilling orders, as well as collecting and transferring all funds raised to CRCL. The header for each design links to its CustomInk ordering page, where you can place your orders up to September 14th. All shirts will be delivered prior to the LSU-Florida game in Death Valley on October 12th. All shirts are Hanes Tagless Tees with sizes running from Youth XS to Adult 4XL.

Design #1 – LA 1

This simple design depicts the highway sign for LA 1 in LSU’s signature purple and gold colors. LA 1 is the longest state highway in Louisiana, running from Louisiana’s northwestern corner down to its south terminus at Bayou Rigaud in Grand Isle. The stretch between Golden Meadow and Grand Isle/ Port Fourchon in particular has some wonderful views of Louisiana’s wetlands and its coastal communities.

Design #2 – Huey P. Leads the Way

This design features an artistic rendering of the following picture, taken at a 1934 parade where the Kingfish himself marched with the Golden Band from Tigerland. Beneath the trio of leaders appears Louisiana’s state motto. It’s a reprint from our 2018 drive, because people really really liked it.

LSU Libraries Special Collections

A brief bit of history: Huey took particular interest in LSU’s band during his tenure in the governor’s mansion and is responsible for the GBFTL’s transition from a military band to a show band. LSU still prominently features tunes written by Huey and former bandleader Castro Carazo today. Underneath Huey and the drum majors is Louisiana’s state motto. Simple enough!

EDIT - 9/4/19: If you would prefer to make a donation in lieu of purchasing a shirt, you can do so at either shirt ordering page. Again, all funds donated will go to CRCL.

Thank you for considering us. We know you have lots of choices for charitable causes, as well as LSU and LSU-adjacent apparel, and hope that you will purchase one of our designs or donate. Geaux Tigers.

tl;dr appeal – we’re selling shirts for charity for $25 apiece (plus shipping), there’s two designs, proceeds go to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, shirt designs are above and may be purchased here (LA 1) and here (Huey and the Drum Majors). If you don’t want to purchase a shirt, you may also make a cash donation at either shirt purchasing site. Shirt purchases are made directly through CustomInk and will be in your hands before the Florida game. If you decide to purchase, thank you, Geaux Tigers, and God bless.