New Iberia

Parish: Iberia Parish

In 1980, Sister Helen Vinton went to work in New Iberia for the Southern Mutual Help Association (founded in 1969, SMHA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating viable, healthy, rural communities through affordable home ownership for some of Louisiana’s poorest families, as well as comprehensive sustainable economic development for farmers and fishers. She and her friend Lorna Bourg worked together for SMHA on pesticide safety issues in south Louisiana. They were successful in getting buffer zones established around area hospitals, schools, and homes to protect children and families from aerial pesticide application. In the late 1980s, Sister Helen served on Commissioner Bob Odom’s Department of Agriculture Environmental Pesticide Committee and used this venue to advocate pesticide safety. She received the Mother Theodore Guerin Medallion from her alma mater, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Today, she is currently working with the Vietnamese communities in Louisiana on fishing issues and their needs to recover from the hurricanes and the BP disaster.

  • Wilma Subra Interview

    Wilma Subra, a scientist and owner of Subra Company, is widely viewed as a hero in many Louisiana communities. Wilma has shown countless citizens how to use technical data to navigate state and federal regulatory systems. She has served on many regional, state, and national advisory committees such as: A seven year term as Vice-Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), a five year term on the National Advisory Committee of the U.S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and a six year term on the EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) where she served as a member of the Cumulative Risk and Impacts Working Group of the NEJAC Council and chaired the NEJAC Gulf Coast Hurricanes Work Group. In 2011, she chaired the Environmental Protection Agency Technical Workshop for the Hydraulic Fracturing Study on Chemical and Analytical Methods. She participated in the EPA Technical Roundtables on Water Acquisition, Chemical Mixing, and Well Injection in November 2012. She co-chaired the EPA Analytical Chemical Methods Workshop in February 2013. Wilma has also received many award including a 1999 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award for her efforts on behalf of the environment. Audio interview with Wilma Subra for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Wilma Subra Interview, part 2

    Part 2 of audio interview with Wilma Subra for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Mary Tutwiler Interview

    Mary Tutwiler, formerly of New Iberia, Louisiana, has always embraced social issues, especially matters concerning the environment. In 1987 she joined and eventually led the environmental group War on Waste (WOW), organized to oppose a proposed residential and commercial solid waste landfill from being built in Cade, Louisiana. The group was successful and Waste Management was defeated in their proposal. Mary is the chef and owner of the Saint Street Inn in Lafayette, Louisiana. Audio interview with Mary Tutwiler for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Wilma Subra Interview, part 3

    Part 3 of audio interview with Wilma Subra for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Mary Tutwiler Interview, part 2

    Part 2 of audio interview with Mary Tutwiler for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Helen Vinton Interview

    In 1980, Sister Helen Vinton went to work in New Iberia for the Southern Mutual Help Association (founded in 1969, SMHA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating viable, healthy, rural communities through affordable home ownership for some of Louisiana’s poorest families, as well as comprehensive sustainable economic development for farmers and fishers. She and her friend Lorna Bourg worked together for SMHA on pesticide safety issues in south Louisiana. They were successful in getting buffer zones established around area hospitals, schools, and homes to protect children and families from aerial pesticide application. In the late 1980s, Sister Helen served on Commissioner Bob Odom’s Department of Agriculture Environmental Pesticide Committee and used this venue to advocate pesticide safety. She received the Mother Theodore Guerin Medallion from her alma mater, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Today, she is currently working with the Vietnamese communities in Louisiana on fishing issues and their needs to recover from the hurricanes and the BP disaster. Audio interview with Helen Vinton for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Helen Vinton Interview, part 2

    Part 2 of audio interview with Helen Vinton for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.