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Environmental communication chair helps restore trees to wetlands

Loyola press release - March 18, 2011

Through his work with Restore the Earth Foundation, Robert Thomas, Ph.D., director of the Center for Environmental Communication and chair of environmental communication at Loyola University New Orleans, is helping to restore the Louisiana wetlands one tree at a time.

Thomas is a member of the board of directors for the Restore the Earth Foundation, which will restore 10,000 trees to cypress forests at Big Mar Lake, Big Branch Marsh, Mandeville, Hammond, Spanish Lake Game and Fish Preserve and Vermillion Bayou this month.

“I am excited to be a part of an organization that not only recognizes the problem of our disappearing wetlands, but is willing to do something about it,” Thomas said. “We realize that this is a huge undertaking and we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’ve reached out and formed critical partnerships that are focused on bringing about real results.”

The 10,000 Trees for Louisiana project started with the donation of 10,000 two-gallon trees from RPM Ecosystems, LLC, and Restore the Earth Foundation Inc., to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

“This incredible donation of trees, valued at more than $300,000, will allow us to restore large areas of wetland forest with a high success rate,” said Dr. Natalie Snider, Science Director for CRCL. “We are excited about the partnership and look forward to educating volunteers from Louisiana and all over the nation about the importance of restoring our coastal forests.”

To help implement the multiple projects across Louisiana, CRCL partnered with Restore America’s Estuaries and the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration to provide additional funding to support volunteer activities. In December 2010, more than 100 volunteers planted 1,000 cypress trees in newly created wetlands in the Barataria Preserve at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.

If you are interested in volunteering on this restoration project, please sign up with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana at www.crcl.org or call (888) LA-COAST.