Next on Endangered Species List — Cajuns?
When you first read the headline to this story, you may think it’s some kind of joke, but the sponsor of the move isn’t laughing. Congressman Garret Graves of Baton
Rouge is dead serious about having Cajuns added to endangered list, and he has some very good reasons.
According to Graves, a lot of the problem has to do with the Corp of Engineers, and the subsequent disruption of habitats due to changes made in the delicate ecosystem in and around the Mississippi River. Those changes in the ecosystem will, eventually, completely disrupt much of the Cajun outdoor-oriented lifestyle. Congressman Graves says:
Our habitat is disappearing. And I don’t understand why animals get better treatment than our actual people. So our amendment just simply designates Cajuns as endangered species so we can be afforded those same protections.
So far, the Congressman says that the best hope may be to get Cajuns included in the sweeping Endangered Species Act of 1973. Granted, it could be an uphill battle to get Congress to go along with adding “Cajuns” to a list that includes spotted owls and black bears, but the threat is very real.
The Cajun lifestyle has everything to do with the waterways, bayous, and rivers, especially in the southern part of the state. Making even small changes in these waterways can have sweeping and disastrous consequences. While the Cajun culture is not under any immediate threat, the long range effects of changes could, in all reality, destroy a big part of the Cajun life. It would be a shame to lose any part of the rich Cajun culture.