Marsh Restoration

planting seedlings

The Turtle Cove Marsh Restoration Program has been in place since 1995, when it was
funded by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to conduct restoration in
both Tangipahoa and St. John the Baptist parishes. From 1995 through 2010, Turtle
Cove Marsh Restoration Coordinator Fred Stouder focused on planting various marsh
grasses and Bald Cypress seedlings, and building levees from old Christmas trees.
The program has been highlighted in several media outlets including The Advocate newspaper.


Funding for the program and grass/cypress plantings ended in 2010 (and Fred has since
retired as of 2012), but Turtle Cove staff and graduate students, with the help of
volunteers from various Southeastern Classes and from various local community groups
have continued to deploy Christmas Trees collected within Tangipahoa Parish.

To date, over 35,000 Christmas Trees have been deployed  and over 25,000 marsh grasses
and cypress seedlings planted in the Manchac Wetlands under this program.


Program Priorities

The program has two main priorities. The first priority centers on building levees
that prevent soil erosion and that create a viable environment and land for new plants
to thrive.


deploying old trees

Levee building involves gathering old Christmas trees that have been delivered to
Galva Canal via large dump trucks. The trees are hoisted onto the pontoon boat for
transport to the sites where new plantings will later flourish. The pontoon boat can
hold approximately 200 trees. Generally 200 yards–two football fields–of levee that
will sustain new grass plantings and maybe even some cypress seedlings is formed with
approximately 2,500-3,000 trees.


planting from the pontoon boat


The second priority focuses on planting seedlings to hinder and potentially stop the
marshes from turning into open water spaces. The plants also help to build land and
prevent soil erosion. Adult volunteers, college students, school groups, and others
have given countless hours to the tedious work.



man planting



If you’d like to join with one of these volunteer groups, or if you have a school
group or organization interested in volunteering, or if your business is interested
in providing support for the program, contact Robert Moreau ([email protected]) .