Success Highlights

Governor Jindal Signs Act 427

BISCO worked with the Louisiana Legislature to pass the Clarity Act: Act 427 in the 2014 Legislative Session.

What will this bill do for you?

As of June 1st 2015, All Insurance Companies that sell home owners insurance will have to post their profit and losses on the La. Department of Insurance website, by parish and zip code.

What does this mean for you?

For the first time citizens in Louisiana will have a tool to compare their own home owners’ rates with surrounding communities, while seeing the profit and loss of the insurance industries. This transparency will help home-

owners to understand the reason for the cost of their insurance. For more information contact BISCO at (985) 492-8268 or any of our Community Organizers.

Our community-wide accomplishments include:

  • Free vouchers for underprivileged children to attend swimming lessons provided by the City of Thibodaux’s Recreation Department (50 provided this year!), for the Thirteenth year in a row!
  • Creation of TREC-UP, a Thibodaux Recreation Department program for people with special needs and disabilities
  • Maintaining diverse demographics of all meetings, forums and projects
  • Creation and Distribution of over 60,000 copies of our Family Emergency Plan template
  • BISCO Junior’s annual Christmas Toy Drive with Indian Santa
  • Storage Shed Project providing resource distribution to needy families
  • Financial Literacy Trainings for Families and Fishermen

Our regional acomplishments include:

  • Legislative Field Trips to Baton Rouge and Washington, DC
  • 14 Community Forums for Information and Resource Sharing after BP Oil Disaster
  • Resource Distribution after Hurricanes Katrina-Rita-Gustav-Ike -Isaac
  • Resource Referral since BP Oil Disaster
  • Public Outreach and Education Programs on multiple issues in communities
  • Eco-History Tours for public advocacy and education
  • Successful organization of  volunteer-run shelter at NSU after Hurricanes Katrina-Rita

Our national accomplishments include:

  • National acknowledgement of coastal Louisiana as a Regional Environmental Justice Community to assist with systemic changes and funding opportunities for coastal communities


Sharon Gauthe Selected for Common Cause Board
October 6, 2012

Common Cause Louisiana elected board members for the 2012-2013 year. BISCO is excited to announce that Executive Director Sharon Gauthe was selected to serve on the board.

RESTORE Act Passes

October 2, 2012

What a great day for the Gulf Coast of America! The RESTORE Act passed both houses of the United States Legislature and is headed to the President's desk for signing. This will allow for a large portion of the fines BP will have to pay for damaging the Gulf of Mexico and its coast to be returned to the Gulf Coast to help recover from these damages. Thanks to all of the advocates and allies and coalitions who worked so hard to help get this into law. BISCO is proud to have worked on this alongside some of America's best, especially our friends and partners in Oxfam America's Coastal Communities Coalition. Thanks to Senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, as well as the other Congressional leaders who signed on to sponsor this legislation.

"Louisiana First Hire" Legislation Passes
June 2012
BISCO was very active in urging the Lafourche Parish Council to pass a resolution to advance the "Louisiana First Hire" legislation. The resolution was passed, and the legislation was signed into effect by Governor Jindal in June of 2012.

2012 Speakers & Presentations
BISCO hosted Katie G. from Alaska's "Children of the Spills" at a gathering in Chauvin and another in Grand Isle to speak to children and parents of the BP Oil Spill about ways to cope and things to look out for.

Sharon Chosen for National Commission
July 10, 2010

BISCO (Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing) Director,  Sharon Gauthe has been chosen to be one of the presenters in the Community Impacts panel for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.  

This Commission was created by President Barack Obama, and is composed of seven members. The Commission will be holding its first public meeting, on Monday and Tuesday at the Hilton Riverside Hotel, 2 Poydras St., in New Orleans.
Members of the panel include Commission members Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Frances Ulmer, chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage,  Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Terry Garcia, an executive vice president at the National Geographic Society, Cherry Murray, dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and U.S. Sens. Bob Graham and William Reilly.
Mrs. Gauthe is honored to represent the communities of Lafourche, Terrebonne and Grand Isle and is anxious to put the issues experienced by the fishermen and businesses as well as non-profits on the table for the panel to have an understanding of the communities impacts from the ground level.  BISCO has held six community meetings in the three parishes and is also providing case management services for Catholic Charities on Grand Isle.


For several years, BISCO has advocated across the country that coastal Louisiana is a "Regional Environmental Justice Community" based on several factors:

  • We are a very unique population in that we are the least transient population in the country and most of our residents can trace their ancestors back in this region for hundreds of years; we have high levels of illiteracy and poverty; we are uniquely voiceless in our abilities to address environmental harms and dangers.
  • We live in a very unique environment in that we are the only place on the North American Continent that can boast the delta of the Mississippi River and the prolific natural resources which abound in this environment.
  • We hold the disastrous record of having the fastest rate of coastal land loss in the world and in urgent danger of environmental destruction because of it; and of course now we face the impacts of the oil drilling disaster in the Gulf as well.
BISCO was very thankful to learn at recent EPA gatherings that the EPA, as well as several other agencies and organizations, are now embracing our point of view that what the coastal communities of Louisiana are facing is an environmental injustice that covers the entire region. This is the first step toward correcting these injustices and making our communities whole and healthy. We are very excited about this SUCCESS!

BISCO Representatives selected by Environmental Protection Agency

Executive Assistant Patty Whitney has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency to serve as the Coastal Communities Ambassador for the State of Louisiana to the EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program. We are sure this will be a great advantage to our local communities in addressing their concerns for the coast.

Congratulations also go out to BISCO Leader Chief Albert Naquin, Chief of the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, who has been chosen as the EPA's Tribal Ambassador for the State of Louisiana to the Gulf of Mexico Project as well!


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