March 2 - Environmental Heritage - Jonathan Foret - Director of the Wetlands Discovery Center
Thursday, March 02, 2017
eRotary Coastal welcomes Jonathan Foret, Director of the Wetlands Discovery Center, a coastal initiative based on Terrebonne Parish that is revolutionizing how we think, teach and learn about Louisiana’s disappearing coast.
Jonathan and his team are also making rapid progress towards the construction of a new wetlands campus to foster learning, concern and action on coastal issues.
As a native of Chauvin, Louisiana, Jonathan Foret grew up in a culture-rich environment from working on shrimp boats as a young boy to speaking Louisiana
French to his grandmother. He graduated from South Terrebonne High School in Bourg, LA and received his bachelor’s degree in English from Nicholls
State University. He taught English at Grand Caillou Middle in Houma, LA and later in Brooklyn, New York before he joined the Peace Corps.
He served in the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific for two years where he taught English as a second language, served as community development coordinator
and taught the Tongans how to use a Louisiana cast net. He returned to the States to work with several nonprofit organizations before leaving again
to take a position with a disabled people’s organization in Bangladesh. This work led him to work for the United Nations in the Asia Pacific region
where he did monitoring and evaluation visits in several countries in the area.
Upon completion of this work he returned to the United States to receive his master’s in Public Administration from the University of New Orleans. He is
proud to be working with the board of directors for the Wetlands Discovery Center to move the organization’s vision forward. He has developed many
innovative programs and fundraisers including the Rougarou Fest, a family-friendly festival with a spooky flair that celebrates the rich folklore that
exists along the bayous of Southeast Louisiana. The Rougarou Fest was ranked as one of the Top 10 Costume Parties in the United States by USA Today
in 2014, one of the Top 20 Events out of 11 states in the month of October by the Southeast Tourism Society in 2015, and most recently awarded Best
New Event in the state of Louisiana by the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals.