Mildred Fossier Interview

Mildred Fossier was the first New Orleans woman to be named the full time director of a city department in New Orleans. Besides directing the city’s Welfare Department and the Park and Parkway Commission in the 1970s, she was a full time committed, passionate environmentalist. She cofounded the Mayor’s environmental breakfast, she was an environmental advisor to Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, she cofounded the New Orleans Citizens for Urban trees (known as NOCUT), she was instrumental in the fight to stop Freeport McMoRan from dumping gypsum into the drinking water supply of New Orleans, and she helped to preserve Bayou Sauvage, the largest wildlife refuge in the United States. A bicycle path in the refuge was named in her honor. She was active in the League of Women Voters and was an active participant in civic affairs until her death in December, 2011, at the age of 98. Audio interview with Mildred Fossier 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.