NEW ORLEANS (AP) – At least two groups are planting trees in Louisiana’s wetlands to restore swamps and help slow coastal erosion.
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana has nine events scheduled from next Friday, Jan. 25, in Mereaux, in St. Bernard Parish, to Saturday, Feb. 15, in the Tangipahoa Parish community of Akers.
America’s Wetland Foundation will be working Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Pointe aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Terrebonne Parish.
Both groups are looking for volunteers to plant the trees.
The coalition says it wants to plant 5,000 trees in two areas: along the Lake Maurepas landbridge in Akers, also called Manchac, and in the St. Bernard Parish central wetlands unit.
It says its “C.R.U.S.H. Project,” for Communities Restoring Urban Swamp Habitat, will help restore and sustain wetlands in the Pontchartrain Basin watershed and get people talking about coastal restoration. It says the Environmental Protection Agency and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation are helping with the project.
The coalition says volunteers must be at least 16 years old and physically fit, since planting trees in the marsh is dirty and strenuous. Gloves, shovels, lunches and drinks will be provided.
America’s Wetland says its 1,000 trees are the last of 30,000 seedlings being placed over 100 acres (40 hectares) in one of two Terrebonne Parish biodiversity and resiliency projects. Spokeswoman Lisa Noble says a contractor called Resource Environmental Solutions planted the other 29,000 trees, starting Dec. 15.
The trees in this project are from stock that grew in brackish water, so organizers hope they will be more tolerant of salt than other cypresses, said Sidney Coffee, senior adviser to the foundation.
The two America’s Wetland projects are sponsored by the energy company BHP. The other one covers 25 acres (10 hectares).