Standing Up for the Health of the Land

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This story was originally published by Our Climate Voices, an organization that shares climate stories in order to spark climate action. Jayden is a plaintiff on Juliana v. US, the lawsuit supported by Our Children's Trust against the federal government for causing climate change. This is Jayden's story. 

My name is Jayden Foytlin and I’m from Rayne, a small town in South Louisiana. In August of 2016, we had a flood and my house still hasn’t recovered from it.

I was really young when we moved here. We had lived in a really small house before, so when we moved into this house, it was bigger and so cool. I have three brothers and three sisters. We have a field next to our house and there was a treehouse in the field that we used to go and play in. I remember one time in the field, we found a place with a lot of flowers. It was very green and had long grass. My sister really likes photography, so we went into the field and acted like models. My littlest brother used to always make me play hide-and-see in the dark at midnight. He is a goofy kid. My whole family is a bunch of extroverts so it’s kind of loud in the house.

It’s still kind of like that now, but it’s harder because we’re trying to raise enough money to fix our house. It’s more tense than it was before the flood happened. I sometimes worry that if I wake up in the middle of the night, there’s going to be water up to my knee. That’s something we have to worry about now because it actually happened. Now when there’s rain, we all just freak out.

The night the flooding happened, I wasn’t the person who noticed. I was asleep because it was midnight. I have a sister who’s a year older than me and stays up. She was on her computer when she noticed flood water coming under her door. She moved her electronics then woke up my oldest sister. When there’s rain, it goes downwards to the back of the house. My room is at the back of the house and it got worse back there because the house isn’t level.

Most of the water was coming through my room, but I didn’t know. My sister pounded on my door. 

Read the full story on the Our Climate Voices website here

Caitlin Howard