Meet Our Staff: Q&A with Corey Miller
Welcome to our staff Q&A series where you can meet the people behind Restore the Mississippi River Delta! Today we’re chatting with Corey Miller, the Community Engagement Manager with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Restore the Mississippi River Delta.
Click here to meet more of our team.
Hi Corey! Tell us a little about what you do with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Restore the Mississippi River Delta?
I direct the outreach and engagement program for CRCL, which involves bringing information about plans for restoration and flood risk reduction to residents of coastal communities and finding ways to get their local knowledge about the environment and their communities back to decision makers.
At CRCL and with Restore the Mississippi River Delta, I focus efforts on fishing dependent communities who are often faced with additional challenges related to the loss of our wetlands- not only does it mean increased flood risk for their homes but also loss of habitat for the fisheries they depend on. Additionally, I bring to the table a social science perspective and deep-rooted connection to the coast.
How did you become interested in working in coastal restoration?
I am fortunate to have grown up in southeast Louisiana with parents and grandparents who loved the coast and the resources it provides. Having many opportunities to fish, water ski, shrimp and simply spend time in a boat or at a camp on the water, I have an ingrained affinity for this place.
We know the task of addressing land loss is daunting. What gives you hope?
The people and their passion. Whether you are a resident of Louisiana’s coast with generations of lineage or someone who has only been here for a few months, you know that there is something special about this place and you find it not only in the landscape but almost more so in the social fabric that ties us together. And we are willing to fight till the end to protect and preserve that.
What are some of the most important projects you’ve worked on?
Projects that acknowledge the value of the traditional ecological knowledge of residents who work and live on the water. Only so much can be learned in a classroom or a book, so finding ways to use the vast amount of knowledge that everyday fishermen and women posses about how the environment works and changes over time is hugely important.
What does Louisiana and the coast mean to you?
Childhood memories, a wonderful seafood extravaganza with friends and family, great music, truly unique culture and having the luxuries of a city life adjacent to the freedoms and pleasures of a vast wetland wilderness.
What is your favorite Louisiana food or restaurant?
I have a theory that the more difficult it is to pick/peel a type of seafood the better it tastes… so, delicious boiled blue crabs!
If you could have any other job for a day, what would it be?
What’s one item you can’t live without?
A fishing pole
What is your favorite coastal critter?
The oyster, preferably on the half shell! But, if I’m not talking food, I love to watch otters play and socialize. There’s just something innately jovial about them.
What is your favorite place in Louisiana or along the Mississippi River?
Smack in the middle of Barataria Basin, on a boat and miles away from the nearest road.