VENICE, La.--(www.restoretheearth.org, announced today that its Gulf Saver® bags planted with EKOgrown® black mangrove deployed in environmentally sensitive Louisiana wetlands have successfully survived, are 2-4 feet tall, flourishing, flowering and about to produce seed. Black mangrove, critical to the wetland ecosystem and the most salt tolerant and flood tolerant plant species native to Louisiana, have all but disappeared in this area due to changing environmental conditions, harsh winter temperatures and storm damage.)--Restore the Earth Foundation, Inc. (REF),
“The resilience of black mangrove in the coastal environment makes them ideal for wetland and barrier island restoration, however the availability and success of reestablishing this native salt tolerant species has been limited.”
REF’s December 2010 Gulf Saver initiative was the first restoration on oil soiled wetlands following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Deployed at North Pass, Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area (PAL), Venice, Louisiana, the site is forty (40) miles farther into the Gulf of Mexico than the rest of Louisiana. This area is where the Mississippi River ends and the Gulf of Mexico begins and an important site within the migratory bird flyway.
The North Pass wetland restoration was funded with donations from private individuals, the not for profit, For the Bayou and the Ittleson Foundation. Volunteers from across the United States deployed Gulf Saver Bags planted with native plants, including black mangrove on this slip of vulnerable shoreline.
There have been a number of efforts to reestablish black mangrove on these challenging sites, all unsuccessful. The Gulf Saver black mangrove are really off to a great start, says Andy Nyman, PhD, www.rnr.lsu.edu/people/nyman/default.htm, Wetland Wildlife Ecology, Louisiana State University.
Black mangrove serve several valuable functions for the environment. They provide habitat for juvenile shrimp and crabs and are the preferred nesting habitat for the brown pelican and other shore birds. Black mangrove reduce storm surge and wave energy even more than marsh grasses because they are taller and stronger even when they are small shrubs.
“The longevity of the benefits of critical wetland ecosystems in Pass a Loutre is dependent on salt tolerant species, like black mangrove in the face of the rising salinity that is impacting the areas existing wetlands,” said Shane Granier, Chief Biologist and Manager (PAL), email@example.com, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, “The resilience of black mangrove in the coastal environment makes them ideal for wetland and barrier island restoration, however the availability and success of reestablishing this native salt tolerant species has been limited.”
Restore the Earth Foundation’s EKOgrown black mangrove are grown exclusively by Ecological Restoration Services, LLC (ERS), www.res.us/nursery, a Certified Rootmaker® Grower and wholly-owned subsidiary of Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC of Baton Rouge, using a proprietary process developed in collaboration with Rootmaker®. The EKOgrown® black mangrove are grown from seeds collected by ERS from the healthiest, most salt tolerant black mangrove along the Gulf Coast. The EKOgrown® process optimizes the plant’s performance and eliminates girdling/circling roots and stunted growth that is prevalent in container grown plants.
EKOgrown black mangrove and other native plants are available exclusively from ERS for estuarine, marsh, barrier islands and other restoration projects along the Gulf Coast.
P.J. Marshall, Executive Director of Development for REF, said, “In November 2011, REF deployed 4,000 Gulf Saver bags at the Buttermilk site at Pass a Loutre. Gulf Saver bags were planted with native smooth grass and black mangrove. Funded and planted by Clif Bar and it’s not for profit In Good Company, after eight (8) months the grasses and black mangrove are also thriving.”
Restore the Earth Foundation, Inc. (REF) is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization that is the catalyst for environmental conservation, protection, restoration, awareness and stewardship through collaborative partnerships.
REF’s approach is proactive and practical, combining innovative all-natural solutions, partnerships and volunteer hard work with community based models that get “boots on the ground” for successful restoration. www.restoretheearth.org