THE GULF COAST POST Happy spring from the CRCL team! If you’re like us, you love this time of year. Citrus trees and jasmine are in bloom, fishing is heating up, trees are putting on new leaves and every weekend is booked with festivals. We’ve been in the mood to celebrate ourselves – we recently hosted 175 of our best friends at our 26th annual Stewardship Awards event in Baton Rouge, where we honored such coastal restoration stalwarts as King Milling (our Lifetime Achievement Award winner), Charles Sutcliffe, Amy Wold, Natalie Snider, Morgan Crutcher and many, many more. This year’s reception marked a return to an in-person awards ceremony for us, and it was a great one. It’s also the planting season for many people across south Louisiana – us included! In fact, we are now growing cypress from seed ourselves. One day soon, with the help of our amazing volunteers, we’ll plant the saplings along our coast to help anchor our fragile soil. Want to be part of this project? Bookmark our volunteer events page or follow us on social to stay in the know. It’s not all planting trees and grasses, of course. We’ve also been working to plan our next oyster reef deployment, this one at Pointe-au-Chien near Montegut. We’re also looking to bring more restaurants into our Oyster Shell Recycling Program, through which we have recycled more than 10 million pounds of shell. You can help by telling restaurants Louisiana’s coast is important to you, and they can help protect it by recycling their shell with us. Recycling shell also helps restaurants reduce their trash volume and weight – it’s a win-win!
Shell on wheels We have moved a lot of oyster shell already this year, thanks to our restaurant partners, sponsors and volunteers. And of course we couldn’t do it without the help of people who love to eat oysters. Since January, we have recycled more than 50 tons of shell and bagged more than 32 tons. We have worked with more than three dozen volunteers, and last month we deployed Phase 2 of our Plaquemines Community Reef in partnership with Grand Bayou Indian Village. We are hoping to get more restaurants aboard. Oyster reefs help to minimize storm surge, protecting communities along our coast. They also slow coastal erosion – we have seen a 50% reduction in shoreline erosion in places where we have built reefs. And they create habitat for new oysters to grow, as well as habitat for crabs, birds and other wildlife. If you operate a restaurant that serves oysters, or if you know someone who does, tell them about our program! If you eat oysters at home, you can also join in our recycling efforts. We have partnered with two community organizations: Glass Half Full and The Green Project, to offer two shell drop-off sites in New Orleans. Hours and days of operation are as follows:
3935 Louisa Street New Orleans, LA
2831 Marais Street New Orleans, LA
Drop-off hours: Mondays 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Drop-off hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For the tastiest way to get involved in coastal restoration, stay up to date on our OSRP partner restaurants and plan your next night out accordingly! Be sure to let our partners know you (and we) appreciate their commitment to protecting and restoring our coast. Their participation is what makes this program a success! In May of last year, we began working with our friends at Chef’s Brigade to help restaurants join our Oyster Shell Recycling Program. We recently ran some numbers to gauge the success of the partnership. Between May of 2021 and February of this year, Chef’s Brigade funded oyster shell collection at nine restaurants, collecting a total of 34.82 tons of shell in that time span. That’s a lot of oyster shell! Thanks to this partnership with Chef's Brigade, we have had the opportunity to work with Clesi's Seafood, St. Roch Market, Deanie's Metairie location, Katie's, New Orleans Creole Cookery, Deanie's French Quarter location, Blue Crab (West End location), Sidecar and Mister Mao. We’ll be deploying our fifth oyster reef this fall!
Planting season Our Native Plants Program is also in full swing this spring. So far this year, we have planted more than 1,000 trees with the help of over 100 volunteers. We are also planting grasses in Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. Want to hop on an airboat, get in the water and help us strengthen hurricane protection for the North Shore? Sign up for a volunteer day this month or next month.
Coastal Advisory Council It’s official: We have announced the new members of our Coastal Advisory Council. They are: Lanor Curole, director/administrator of United Houma Nation; Jessica Dandridge, executive director of the Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans; Troy Gilbert, a writer who is the founder and executive director of Chef’s Brigade New Orleans; Robert Gorman, a founding member of CRCL who served as the organization’s first chair and was a longtime Board member, and who is the retired director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux; Barbara Johnson, founder and proprietor of the Great Delta Tours; Brent McCrossen, an entrepreneur who is managing director of Revelry Startup Studio and founder of linen shirt maker RNKL; David Muth, the retired Gulf program director at the National Wildlife Federation; and Niki Pace, an attorney at Louisiana SeaGrant. Welcome to the CAC!
Restoration on the Half Shell Want to learn more about the movement to save Louisiana’s coast? You can at our Restoration on the Half Shell mini-conference experience. Restoration on the Half Shell be June 25 at the Meraux Foundation’s Docville Farms in St. Bernard. It will include a mix of timely updates about the state of Louisiana's coast, discussions with community leaders, and an opportunity to mingle and network.
Lagniappe Kellyn LaCour-Conant, our restoration programs director, has headed to the Smithsonian! A statue of Kellyn is part of “#IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit,” opened this spring in Washington. Her life-sized likeness is one of 120 of women in STEM fields that were displayed at the Arts and Industries Building, the Smithsonian Castle, Enid A. Haupt Garden, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and other locations along the National Mall.
UPCOMING EVENTS May 20-21 Oyster shell bagging - open to public (Violet Site) May 27-28 Big Branch Marsh plantings – open to public (near Slidell) May 31 Oyster shell bagging - open to public (Violet Site) June 3-4
Big Branch Marsh plantings – open to
public (near Slidell)
WE ARE HIRING Check out our job postings for a development director and three Serve Louisiana positions. Development director Native Plants Program technician (Serve Louisiana) Outreach assistant (Serve Louisiana) Oyster shell recycling technician (Serve Louisiana)