We’ll be in New Orleans for Rising Tide 5—and you’re invited too. First, on Friday afternoon, we’re embarking on a boat tour of Barataria Bay southwest of New Orleans—thanks to friendly connections at the Plaquemines parish government, Loyola University, and the EPA—to see the BP oil spill’s effects on the Louisiana wetlands. Photos, reporting, and possibly video footage to come soon.

Rising Tide Volunteer Community Service Friday Aug. 27

Volunteers are pitching in with a food drive to assist the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, packing food boxes from 9:00 a.m. until noon, on Friday, August 27, at Second Harvest’s Elmwood warehouse at 700 Edwards Avenue (map). If you can’t make it to this event, please consider contributing to Second Harvest to help hundreds of families who have seen their jobs and livelihoods evaporate since the BP oil spill. Each year, Second Harvest provides emergency food assistance to nearly 263,000 people, including approximately 82,000 children and 40,000 seniors across 23 south Louisiana parishes.

Rising Tide program for Saturday Aug. 28

The Howlin’ Wolf, 907 South Peters Street

Details about participants here.

8:30 | doors open

9:30 | Opening remarks

9:45 | Public Safety panel : Brian Denzer, Susan Hutson, Allen James, Peter Scharf, N.O. Police Chief Ronal Serpas, Jon Wool

11:00 | Keynote speaker: Mac McClelland, human rights reporter for Mother Jones

12:00 | Environmental panel : Steve Picou, Len Bahr, Robert Verchick

2:00 | Politics panel : Peter Athas, Jason Berry, Jeff Crouere, Clancy Dubos, Stephanie Grace, Jacques Morial

3:15 | “Why Can’t We Get Some Dam Safety in New Orleans?” Presentation by engineer Tim Ruppert

3:45 | Presentation of 2010 Ashley Morris Memorial Award

4:00 | “Down in the Treme” panel : Maitri Erwin, Lolis Eric Elie, Eric Overmyer, Becky Northcut, Dave Walker, Davis Rogan

Also happening in New Orleans

New Orleans area Katrina anniversary events (NOLA.com)

President Obama to speak at Xavier University Sunday, Aug. 29, to commemorate 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

New Orleans C.A.R.E. Free Clinic | Tues. Aug. 31–Weds. Sept. 1 at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, 900 Convention Center Blvd. Volunteers needed and welcome! Register to volunteer: www.regonline.com/nolacare | Patients call 1-877-236-7617

Historic New Orleans Collection : Katrina + 5: Documenting Disaster | May 12–September 12  |  Williams Gallery, 533 Royal Street