Still time to recycle that Christmas tree for wetlands restoration
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – It’s not too late to recycle that Christmas tree you may still have in the living room or on the curb waiting for the trash pick-up.
Southeastern Louisiana University’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, located on Pass Manchac between lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas, can use those discarded trees to help build up the area’s marshland.
“The state has discontinued funding for the marsh restoration program due to budget cutbacks, but we’re using our own resources and private donations to continue the Tangipahoa Parish Christmas tree program, at least this year,” said Turtle Cove Director Robert Moreau.
Trees will be collected until Jan. 14 at two area locations: the City of Hammond maintenance facility located at 18104 Hwy. 190 East next to the Piggly Wiggly Supermarket and at Middendorf’s Restaurant on Hwy. 51 in Manchac.
Moreau asks that trees be stripped of any ornaments, lights, tinsel or flocking. The trees will be placed on the shoreline in the marsh to help reduce coastal erosion by limiting the impact of waves and helping to collect sediment in subsiding marsh areas.
“We’ll continue to concentrate our work in the Jones Island area on Lake Maurepas,” said Moreau, an instructor of biological sciences at Southeastern. “This program, which goes back about 15 years, has been effective in reducing coastal erosion, and we don’t want to see it discontinued.”
The program got an early boost this year when the Lowe’s store in Hammond donated all its unsold trees to the cause. The Turtle Cove team will use its staff, coordinated by Fred Stouder, students taking Moreau’s environmental awareness service-learning course and area volunteers to place the trees in the Maurepas wetlands.
Additional information can be obtained by contacting Moreau at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stouder at email@example.com. Donations should be sent by check payable to “Friends of Turtle Cove” and mailed to Southeastern Box 10585, Hammond, LA 70402.