Ironton is an unincorporated community located in Plaquemines parish. Ironton is one of Louisiana’s oldest African-American communities, and is home to approximately 52 Black families (NOLA 2022). The community was founded by freed slaves from the St. Rosalie plantation (RESTORE 2021). Other people who had been emancipated joined the community, and it became an important settlement for formerly enslaved people along the Mississippi.

Residents of Ironton have had to fight for basic necessities and rights every step of the way. Though a service line was two miles away, running water was not added to the community until the 1980s, and the community is surrounded by a grain terminal, oil refineries, and two coal export terminals (EarthJustice 2022).

Ironton also lacks adequate protection from hurricanes. Residents have been forced to rebuild after each major storm, and are continuing to fight for improved levee protection. Former Plaquemines Parish councilwoman Audrey Trufant Salvant said that she views the devastation in Ironton from storms as, “a manmade disaster, not purely a natural one”, as the community has been asking for help from the Army Corps of Engineers since Hurricane Katrina (Desmog 2021).

The town also regularly battles encroaching petrochemical plants. In 2019, Tallgrass Energy attempted to apply to build an $2.5 billion oil storage facility on a site with unmarked cemeteries and artifacts dating back to the time of the St. Rosalie plantation.

In 2021, Ironton residents successfully thwarted the oil terminal, and Tallgrass withdrew its permit application. The terminal, initially planned to store up to 20 million barrels of oil, would have impacted the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project, a $2 billion initiative to restore Louisiana's coast (NOLA 2021). The Sediment Diversion is currently being constructed just north of the community.