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Wednesday, December 11, 2019



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Volunteers plant 2,000 bald cypress trees to help save the coast

Volunteers plant 2,000 bald cypress trees to help save the coast


BATON ROUGE - Where a forest of bald cypress once stood and protected Terrebonne Parish from storm surge, more than 160 volunteers gathered on February 9 and did their best to restore that forest and increase the protection for their community.

The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF), Resource Environmental Solutions (RES), global energy producer, BHP, and e-Rotary Coastal would like to express profound gratitude to all the volunteers that gave up their Saturday morning to help save America's WETLAND.

When a call went out for volunteers for the planting in the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area south of Houma, AWF was overwhelmed with volunteer applications. As part of its Terrebonne Biodiversity and Resiliency Projects AWF planned to restore an historic Cypress-Tupelo swamp that had succumbed to salt water intrusion and was creating a threat to low lying communities in Terrebonne Parish and important wildlife habitats.

One of the key benchmarks for the project was to engage and educate volunteers about the importance of ecological restoration and the direct and indirect benefits to the long-term survivability of local Louisiana communities. That was certainly accomplished at the volunteer planting on February 9.

The energetic volunteers planted 2,000 Bald Cypress trees where 28,000 trees that had already been planted on the site to reconstitute 100 acres of an historic wetland forest. The event brought out the best in people and provided a ray of hope in the battle against the rising tide in South Louisiana.

One volunteer may best have summed up the day - Captain Wendy Wilson Billiot said, "As our wetlands disappear, so goes the culture and way of life, as they are inextricably linked. For some it is too late but as long as there is a tree to plant and breath in my body to do so, I will never give up."