The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s restoration programs engage volunteers and stakeholders in hands-on restoration work to learn about and protect Louisiana’s coastal habitats. Each year our Native Plants Program and Oyster Shell Recycling Program host dozens of events and bring hundreds of volunteers into the field.
Since 2000, our Native Plants Program has engaged more than 14,500 volunteers and restored more than 4,500 acres of coastal wetlands. Volunteers plant dune grass on beaches in southwest Louisiana, marsh grass in fresh to brackish marsh and native trees in coastal forests across the coast. From restoring beaches in Cameron Parish to planting marsh grass in Venice, our volunteers have traveled the state to help restore Louisiana’s coast.
The Oyster Shell Recycling Program partners with more than 20 New Orleans area restaurants to return oyster shells to the water, recycling more than 12.5 million pounds of shell since 2014. In partnership with local communities and over 2,000 volunteers, CRCL has constructed five oyster reefs restoration projects with our recycled shell. Our reefs enhance local fisheries, reduce shoreline erosion as much as 50% and help protect irreplaceable cultural heritage sites.
In 2021, our restoration programs found a home. In partnership with the Meraux Foundation, we are building a Restoration Headquarters in Violet, Louisiana, giving our programs, volunteers and partners a base from which to conduct our restoration projects. At our Restoration HQ, we’re processing and preparing oyster shells to be used in oyster reef restoration projects, collecting native seeds in our community drop-off ”seed library,” growing native plants from those seeds and launching from the site to plant trees in the Central Wetlands. CRCL’s Restoration HQ will provide a central hub from which our programs can engage, educate and grow our collective efforts to restore coastal Louisiana.