Feb 21, 2014 5:12 AM by AP (MGN Online)
More than 12,000 Christmas trees collected in Orleans Parish after the holidays were airlifted into the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge as part of a program to create new marsh habitat.
The Louisiana National Guard dropped the trees in coastal zones selected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
New Orleans officials said Thursday in a statement that the trees are used to establish a breakwater in open pons on the refuge to trap silt and encourage the growth of marsh grasses. Over the past few years, the project has re-established about 175 acres of marsh in Bayou Sauvage.
The city's Department of Sanitation, Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs and the Materials Management Group led the effort to collect, sort, and bundle the trees. The project cost about $12,700.