Business and community leaders in the Gulf clearly recognize the important link between a healthy environment and a thriving, resilient economy. Here is one example of a leader working to make a difference in the Gulf.
Carole Lynn Meadows taught for 25 years at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. She is also one of the co-founders of the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport, MS, which is Mississippi’s first children’s museum. The museum name honors the memory of Lynn Meadows, Carole Lynn and Joe Meadows' daughter, who died tragically in a car accident in 1984. Carole Lynn is currently serving as the chairwoman of the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission.
“As a co-founder of the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, Mississippi’s first children’s museum, our goal was to provide a place for children to learn to appreciate the world in which he or she lives. To that end, we received a grant 2011 to create an outdoor classroom to teach children about the natural resources of the Gulf and how important it is to take care of them. Teaching children about restoration is critical to the future of the Gulf."
"When [Hurricane] Katrina came, there was enormous destruction to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. However, the people of the Gulf would not be destroyed. As stories and stories were told of the endurance of the people, the need to show the world that endurance became more and more important. As a result, the Gulfport Main Street Association established a committee to collect these stories told through photographs. I was coordinator of that project. These photographs became an exhibit displayed in the lobby of Hancock Bank and entitled 'Resilience.' The photographs in the exhibit depicted people doing what they had to do after Katrina—unloading water and supplies, trying to find their belongings in rubble around their homes, and cleaning up debris. One of the photos in that exhibit was a photo of a completely devasted landscape—collapsed buildings, debris everywhere—but in the picture was one lone flower that had made it up though the debris. To me, that is resilience. That little flower gave us hope. It was a symbol of the fact that both the people and the environment of the Gulf are resilient, and though it would take extremely hard work, restoration was possible.”