Darilyn Turner
Darilyn Turner: ‘We’ve always been a community that rose above any obstacle.’

During Hurricane Katrina, floodwaters poured from the Mississippi River into the tiny town of Phoenix, Louisiana, ravaging homes, churches, and businesses.

After the storm, community members formed a faith-based nonprofit called the Zion Travelers Cooperative Center. Their work began as a grassroots recovery effort, with neighbors helping neighbors gut houses and remove debris, to prepare for rebuilding.

Turner: “We’ve always been a community that rose above any obstacle. We joined together as a community and worked to help each other rebuild and to reconnect.”

That’s lifelong resident Darilyn Turner, who now directs the center.

”‘We’ve Click To Tweet

Today, the group’s work continues. They educate residents about climate change and how rising seas and increasingly intense storms threaten the area. And members advocate for solutions that could help protect them, including wetlands restoration and stronger levees.

Turner is realistic about the threats that lie ahead. But she says her community is resilient and will stay put as long as nature – and God – allow.

Turner: “We have our trust in God. And we have gained the strength to pull together as one.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Courtesy of Darilyn Turner.

Sara Peach

Sara Peach is the Senior Editor of Yale Climate Connections. She is an environmental journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Environmental Health News, Grist, and...