In the fragile coastal haven of Pointe-aux-Chenes, Louisiana, Donald and Theresa Dardar, stalwart residents and members of the Pointe-au-Chien Tribe, confront an existential threat as erosion and sea-level rise conspire to reclaim their ancestral home. Nestled within a landscape marred by sinking lands and vulnerable to the relentless onslaught of coastal storms, this tight-knit community faces an uphill struggle, with the tribe estimating that 90 percent of its cherished land has succumbed to submersion over the last century.

For the Dardars, the prospect of relocation is entangled with profound layers of cultural identity and an intricate connection to the land. Theresa Dardar articulates the complexities, stating, “It’s a lot to ask somebody to move whenever you don’t know the whole story about how we live, what we eat, and our connection to the land.” In the face of impending challenges, this Grist mini-documentary illuminates the family’s unwavering determination to restore and fortify their land, revealing a poignant narrative of resilience, community mobilization, and the indomitable human spirit standing firm against the encroaching waters.

The Complex Choice to Stay

In the intricate web of environmental challenges engulfing Pointe-aux-Chenes, Louisiana, the Dardar family faces a profound and complex decision to remain in their ancestral home. Beyond the mere physical act of relocation, this choice delves deep into the essence of their cultural identity. Theresa Dardar, with heartfelt emphasis, articulates the intricacies involved, stating, “It’s a lot to ask somebody to move whenever you don’t know the whole story about how we live, what we eat, and our connection to the land.” The decision to resist the impending environmental challenges becomes more than a practical choice—it evolves into a poignant narrative, intricately woven with the threads of their cultural heritage. In their steadfast determination to preserve a way of life intricately tied to the land, the Dardars illuminate the profound significance of cultural identity in the face of an uncertain environmental future.

A Battle for Restoration: Resilience Amidst Challenges

Undeterred by the encroaching waters, the Dardar family has become the vanguard in a courageous mission to restore and fortify their cherished land. This Grist mini-documentary provides an intimate lens into the family’s resilience and determination as they navigate the complexities of safeguarding a community intricately tied to its environment. The effort to preserve Pointe-aux-Chenes is a testament to their unwavering commitment, underscoring the profound connection between the land and its inhabitants.

However, this battle for restoration is not without its challenges. The Dardars find themselves at the forefront, grappling with a harsh reality compounded by the lack of substantial support from the state government. As the encroaching waters persist, their struggle exemplifies the broader narrative of vulnerable coastal communities facing the dual challenges of environmental threats and insufficient assistance from governing bodies. Yet, in the face of adversity, the Dardars stand resilient, embodying a spirit of determination that resonates beyond their community, echoing a universal call for support in the preservation of endangered cultural landscapes.

Rallying Community Forces

In the face of inadequate state support, the Dardar family transforms their struggle into a collective mission by rallying community forces. Recognizing that the battle against rising waters demands a united front, Donald and Theresa Dardar mobilize fellow community members and volunteers to fortify Pointe-aux-Chenes. The absence of substantial aid from the state government transforms their fight into a shared endeavor, where the community becomes the driving force behind the preservation of their cherished home.

This collective rallying cry is not only about erecting physical barriers against encroaching waters but also fostering a sense of unity that transcends the immediate threat. The Dardars’ call for solidarity becomes a potent force, echoing through the coastal community and inspiring a shared commitment to protect Pointe-aux-Chenes for generations to come. Through the collaborative efforts of individuals determined to safeguard their shared heritage, the community emerges as a formidable force against the environmental challenges that threaten to reshape their way of life. In the heart of Louisiana’s vulnerable coastal landscape, community resilience becomes the linchpin for the sustained defense of a cultural haven.


In the midst of Louisiana’s vulnerable coastal landscape, the Dardar family’s story emerges as a microcosm of the larger global challenge – a call to action to address climate impacts and support communities facing the brunt of environmental change.

The Dardar family’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding Pointe-aux-Chenes stands as a symbol of endurance and unity in the face of environmental adversity. As erosion and sea-level rise persist as formidable foes, Donald and Theresa Dardar’s decision to remain rooted in their ancestral home becomes a testament to the profound ties that bind them to their land and culture. This Grist mini-documentary captures not only the challenges faced by Pointe-au-Chien Tribe members but also the resilience that defines their collective spirit.

The rallying cry to protect Pointe-aux-Chenes echoes far beyond the Louisiana coast, resonating as a call to action for communities globally grappling with the impacts of climate change. Through collaboration and community mobilization, the Dardars inspire a shared commitment to confront the rising tides threatening vulnerable landscapes. In the poignant narrative of the Dardar family, we find a compelling narrative of human tenacity, a reminder that, even in the face of daunting environmental challenges, the strength of community and cultural connection can carve a path towards a sustainable future.