A Day on the Bayou

Two Saturdays ago, a handful of us at the Gulf Restoration Network participated in the Bayou St. John Marsh Creation Project. The project – supported by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Restore the Earth Foundation, and the Orleans Levee District – was enacted to build half an acre of native marsh in the city of New Orleans.The plan to build wetlands was an add-on to a dredging project, as the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is using some of the dredged sediment to create said wetlands along the banks where the bayou meets the lake. The project has three phases: Build Walls, Fill In, and Sculpt & Plant.The purpose of Saturday’s workday was simple: fill as many bags with sand as possible. With twenty volunteers working on and off for about 3.5 hours, we were able to fill 500 plastic “geotextile’ fabric bags and constructed and staged 20 flats of interlocking bags.Unfortunately, the water was too high for placement of the flats and bags as well as construction of the walls, but fret not! With workdays continuing on into next month, good progress will surely be made.For us at GRN, it was a wonderfully fulfilling day spent with fellow community members. Our muscles were sore, but it felt good to get our hands dirty and have tangible results to show for efforts made. I, for one, will be back again soon!Interested in volunteering? Email Andy Baker at wetland.biologist@gmail.com for ways to get involved.Anna Dvorak is a Summer Outreach Associate with GRN, and will soon be joining the staff as an Outreach Team Organizer.

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