Water in New Orleans


Water in New Orleans




New Orleans and Its Relationship with Water


This interview captures the effects water has had on communities throughout New Orleans and how it has affected livelihood as well.


Camerin Kimble


My Nola, My Story via Youtube


Mass Communication Department at Xavier University of Louisiana


30th April 2021


Camerin Kimble


My Nola, My Story


My Nola, My Story 2021




Premiere Pro, video


A Digital Humanities project by Xavier University of Louisiana's Mass Communication department students, led by Dr. Shearon Roberts

Original Format


Yeishka Montalvo: And my name is Yeishka Montalvo, I am the climate and tour fellow at the water collaborative and I'm also spearheading the brackish water collective art collective. Thank you for having me.

Camerin Kimble: I'm happy to have you. So let's start. What kind of work does the water collaborative mainly do?

Yeishka Montalvo: So the water collaborative is an environmental like climate justice organization centering around water equity issues in the Greater New Orleans region. We seek to ensure a lifetime of living thriving with water and loving water for every resident that lives here in the city. And we envision an inclusive network of communities that come together to make sure that New Orleans is climate resilient, and it can thrive with all of the water that we deal with on our day to day with storms and rising sea levels, etc. I am the climate and tour fellow at the water collaborative. We are going to be launching a tour company within the organization to give climate and environmental justice related tours to people visiting Orleans or just locals living in the area, around water equity, around storm water management, around issues related to Katrina and past environmental disasters and how this city has adapted and moved forward from those things and what our plans are for the future.

Camerin Kimble: Wow, okay. How exactly do you think water has damaged the relationship that it has with people of New Orleans?

Yeishka Montalvo: Yeah, so as I had mentioned before, water is one of the biggest challenges and threats to human life in the southeast and especially along the Gulf from tropical storms to rain events, aging infrastructure like I had mentioned, it's, it's, it's damaged, it's damaged our communities, especially the most vulnerable ones and in that regard. And so that's why it's so crucial that organizations like the water collaborative and other networks that we work with work collaboratively to develop, you know, innovative solutions to these issues. And you know there's, there's so much water around us, so we have to learn how to how to have a relationship with it in a way that is regenerative in a way that is sustainable for both us and the water, you know, and there's so entire industries that depend on it, fisherfolk tribal nations, you know, different laborers and farmers, the seafood industry. Everything about our city is tied to water, and so we need to learn how to live with it. Yeah.

Camerin Kimble: If you don't mind, could you kind of like, go into detail about how the relationship begins to reform, with the people?

Yeishka Montalvo: Yeah. So for instance, I guess I could go into more detail with like the artists collective, specifically, but we're basically going to be using the arts, as a way to turn the lens on this relationship we have with water and recognizing that water is our most precious resource, its life giving and life taking. It is very challenging. And so, with all of the aging infrastructure, with all of this climate change and stronger storms etc., people here hate water. It's really traumatic for them, it is triggering for them. There's a lots of painful memories tied to water in this city and so we want to use this artist collective as like as a way to channel, some healing for our communities here, and just using visuals and arts to kind of change our view of it in a tangible way, in a way that we can like envision a future with it positively and not painfully. But we also do lots of other projects to, to mitigate that that challenge. So, but the brackish artist collective is just one way. And then the tour company, that's just like our educational channel, where we give people history tours and lessons and and teach them about the infrastructure and why it's aging and what we need, and because knowledge is power and like, you know, if we don't know what to do, then we can't really change anything. So, that's our goal with the tour company as well.

Yeishka Montalvo: So, the water collaborative builds sustainability and shows others how to live sustainably through education and policy specific work. So education meaning educating residents in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region about flood solutions resources like storm water management pertinent research, and more. And then on the policy side we work with, city, state, and federal workers and elected officials to support their understanding of water management and further policy measures to support the urban water sector in their growth and, and sustainability.
So utilizing that membership rate base of ours, we create policy recommendations to advocate for the support for these changes and doing so, also, specifically, special emphasis on protecting vulnerable communities most at risk to these to these issues so.

Yeishka Montalvo: I was just saying there's a lot of urgency to be committed to this type of work right now, especially living in the Gulf south, because we are among the most impacted by climate change and climate disaster as you saw this summer, there was like 5, 6, 7 different threats of hurricanes, just, you know, back to back, and that's not normal. That is not, and it's, it's, it's weird, calling it a natural disaster because it doesn't really feel like it's natural at all. It's because of the infrastructure, it's because of the negligent like policy, that is harming our planet in our homes, it's, it's because of so many reasons that our human, manmade. So, we are contributing to this problem and so it's up to us to really step up and use our resources and use our collective power and our communities to make a positive change and make it so that we can live on this earth and in New Orleans for years and years to come and our kids to and their kids too. And in that is, that's the goal. So, and it's, it affects everybody. Everybody has a stake in this so I guess I'll close with that.
For anybody listening, that if you want to contribute to this cause and into this movement the time is now, and there's plenty of resources to do that.

Camerin Kimble: Thank you for your time, and that was some great stuff that you said. I just want to thank you so much for this interview, and everything you've done with the collective.

Yeishka Montalvo: Thanks so much for having me I'm really excited to have you part of the team, and we'll work together some all moving forward.


9:33 ( nine minutes and thirty-three seconds)


Camerin Kimble


Camerin Kimble


Screen Shot 2021-05-02 at 8.20.33 AM.png
Date Added
February 24, 2021
Nola Sustainability
Item Type
Moving Image
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Camerin Kimble, “Water in New Orleans,” MY NOLA, MY STORY , accessed September 24, 2023, https://xulamasscomm.omeka.net/items/show/144.