The boat's final layer honors the Alligator Gar, a fish native to South Louisiana which has survived since the time of the dinosaurs. The fish can attribute its survival to the strength of its bonelike scales, which have the same chemical components as enamel.

To finally get the boat moving, 472 people from around New Orleans wrote their own answers to the prompt, "What moves you?", on small pieces of paper that replicate the shape of a garfish scale. The paper's gradient of deep bayou colors were printed and donated by artist Julian Wellisz. The  responses below — which run the gamut from the humble "potatoe" to "the sound of a close friend" to "mosquitoes" to "the ever expanding universe" — are now interlinked together on the hull of the boat, protecting the hundreds of other stories that are layered beneath it. The boat floated gracefully on June 28, piloted by Kyren and Elaina from New Harmony High School, where the boat is now available to students as they navigate their floating classroom on Bayou St. John. 

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© a paper boat project. new orleans, louisiana, 2019

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