The Youth Wetlands Program has groups of students come down every year from the Edmund Burke School of DC, to help restore receding coastline by planting native Louisiana Irises. This year The Backpacker and Everybody Plays Foundation got to partner up with them, and were a huge help in transporting and guiding the group along the way. And of course they had loads of questions about the effects of Katrina and they knew very little of the Great Flood of 2016, which we were sure to share our stories. Oh and they all had questions about alligators and what to do if you see one? are they going to attack the boat? what if I fall in? Let’s just say we had a fun time with these students from the city.
Loading up and heading to Cane Bayou!
This is probably 500 Louisiana irises. They can produce asexually, where multiple flowers can come from just one bulb. Which means they can also be invasive, so we are relocating these where they will actually be useful and help better solidify a marshy coast.
Gator siting! Thankfully everyone remained fairly calm and the gator didn’t eat anyone, at least not in our group.
Erin Sullivan of Everybody Plays Foundation is explaining the root system of the irises we are about to plant.
“Ew, why does this mud smell like fart?”
This katydid was a big deal. “AHHH, something’s on my leg!” “Does it bite?” “How did you just catch it like that?”
Louisiana’s wetlands are home to a diversity of wildlife, and provide a much needed natural barrier against the storm surges that occur during hurricanes. Just 1.3 miles of wetlands can reduce a storm surge by a foot. That is a foot less water coming onto land during a storm—the wetlands are vital to reducing erosion of the coastline and destruction to lives and property.
Restore Louisiana Now is a great resource to learn more about the eroding coastline.
A lone iris already in bloom on Cane Bayou! Hopefully where we planted will also look this solid.
We got down and dirty and had a lot of fun doing our part. Thanks again to everyone that helped make this a success!