In 1717, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville discovered a crescent bend in the Mississippi River and decided it looked like a high-and-dry spot to build a city.
Nearly three centuries later, it’s easy to wonder if he’d pick the same spot today to settle New Orleans.
Coastal erosion and subsidence, we all know, is changing the shape of Louisiana’s boot. And that was before the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico started threatening South Louisiana's ecology and economy.
The America’s Wetland Foundation, a nonprofit that works to bring coastal issues to Congressional and public attention, estimates the state loses a football field of land every 50 minutes.
That disturbing stat, and now concern about the longtime repercussions of the oil spill, spurred Niven Morgan to donate a portion of proceeds this month from sales of his new Jean Baptiste 1717 collection to the foundation’s efforts.
Jean Baptiste, named for New Orleans’ founding father, is the newest addition to Morgan’s eponymous line of divinely scented bubble bath, candles, soaps and lotions.
Born in Shreveport, Morgan lives in Dallas, but he keeps an apartment in the Crescent City. For Jean Baptiste, he blended a sultry Southern mix of water hyacinth and jasmine with hints of wild rose and wood. The floral fragrance is surprisingly light and soft.
In launching the collection this spring, Morgan said he wanted to give back to the place that inspired it. “Just think of the pelicans and other wildlife along the coast. We need to do what we can to protect it before it’s gone.”
A portion of proceeds this month from the Jean Baptiste 1717 collection will benefit the America’s Wetland Foundation.