Southeastern's Turtle Cove receives grant from Monsanto
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Monsanto Company Human Resources Business Lead Sandi Eitel, right, presents an oversized check for $4,500 to Robert Moreau, left, director of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, and Fred Stouder, Turtle Cove staff member. The funds will be used to support the university’s wetlands restoration program in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station has received a $4,500 grant from the Monsanto Fund, a private foundation and the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, to help support wetlands restoration programs in Tangipahoa and St. John the Baptist parishes.
Both programs, ongoing for several years now, are designed to stabilize the shoreline of the marshland called West Jones Island located in Lake Maurepas. They involve the replanting of an open body of water called “the Prairie” on the western shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain in order to restore it back to a grassy marsh wetland habitat.
“Turtle Cove is pleased to team up with the Monsanto Fund to create a partnership, working together to restore our area’s wetlands that provide the community with natural storm protection, as well as replenish fertile breeding grounds for the seafood we enjoy and other animal habitats,” said Robert Moreau, Turtle Cove manager. “This grant will not only provide funding for the plants, but will also help educate the public on the importance of wetlands through volunteer help and public outreach.”
Scientists and educators at Turtle Cove, located on Pass Manchac between lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas, conduct research and instruct students and teachers through outdoor classroom activities, canoe trips into the wetlands, and pontoon boat outings, often in conjunction with other universities and other research institutions. Staff at Turtle Cove have been planting cypress seedlings and marsh grasses as well as deploying discarded Christmas trees in the wetlands since 1995, to varying degrees of success, mostly dependent on elevation and salinity levels.
The Monsanto Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company. Incorporated in 1964, its primary objective is to improve the lives of people by bridging the gap between their needs and their resources. The Monsanto Fund is focused on grant-making in four main areas; nutritional well-being through agriculture; science education, primarily on professional development for teachers; the environment, which includes conservation, protection of biodiversity, clean water and restoration of wildlife habitat; and improving the quality of life in communities where Monsanto employees live and work.