Bayou Grace mobilizes local and national community in the restoration and protection of coastal Louisiana, with a focus on the rural five bayou communities of lower Terrebonne Parish.
Bayou Grace began as an outreach effort of Grace Lutheran Church in 2005 during the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Two local volunteers, the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Houma, Louisiana and one contracted out-of-state crisis counselor were reacting individually at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center to the enormous disaster following Hurricane Katrina. Three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita devastated the five rural bayou communities south of Houma. The four community members began partnering and discussing how to use these disasters as an opportunity to rebuild these rural communities stronger and more sustainable. The new team assessed their individual talents and connections and put them together to form Bayou Grace Community Services. While much of the initial work of Bayou Grace was disaster relief related, the initial team recognized the need to incorporate environmental outreach and education on Louisiana coastal land loss as part of Bayou Grace’s long-term disaster relief strategy. Bayou Grace’s main focus area now is environmental outreach, educating local and national community on coastal land loss, restoration and protection and working with its partners to mobilize this community in advocacy for the full restoration and protection of coastal Louisiana, including the five rural communities that Bayou Grace targets. This is Bayou Grace’s main role in continued recovery. The organization continues to meet the immediate needs of community as new disasters occur.
It is the spirit of meeting the need where the need is, recognizing the opportunity for the community and partnering to get the work done and done well that is the foundation of Bayou Grace. Bayou Grace partners with local, national, grassroots, federal, secular and religious organizations to meet its mission and program goals. The organization incorporated in December of 2006 and received its 501 (c)(3) status in 2007. Contributions are tax deductible.