March 29, 2011 - Volunteers from around the state and country assisted the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) marsh restoration efforts March 24 with a second installation of Gulf Saver Bags at Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
Common Ground Relief coordinated the effort for the Restore the Earth Foundation and LDWF, bringing in students on spring break from Ohio State University, and representatives of Bayou Rebirth, (San Francisco) For the Bayou, Global Green and Plaquemines Parish officials and citizens.
The volunteers assisted LDWF Coastal and Non-game Resources Division personnel distribute 800 Gulf Saver Bags at the WMA that forms the southeast tip of Plaquemines Parish, where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The vital wetland habitat within the WMA provides a natural home and breeding grounds for shrimp, crabs, oysters, and more than five million migratory birds. Hurricane activity and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 have further advanced the effects of coastal erosion to this southeastern Louisiana shoreline that forms the first line of defense against storm surge and tidal fluctuations.
The Gulf Saver Bag is a package of native marsh grasses with its own supply of natural nutrients and oil eating micro-organisms combined to support, feed and protect the new growth of marsh grasses in areas of need. The bag is standard biodegradable burlap weighing 20 pounds when packed. Placement by hand from small transport vessels minimizes disruption of shallow sediment along deteriorating coastal land mass. The 800 bags placed along the marsh shoreline Thursday supplement the 400 bags distributed by an initial volunteer effort in December 2010.
Funding for materials used at Pass a Loutre was provided by donations from individuals and matching donations from the Coypu Foundation, the Ittleson Foundation, State Farm Insurance and Restore Americas Estuaries. Additional funds were raised though benefit concerts held in San Francisco and sponsored by For the Bayou, as well as a Benefit the Bayou concert held in Cape Cod, and a car wash held by Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans. For more information on the Gulf Saver Bag project, visit www.gulfsaversolutions.com .
Pass a Loutre WMA encompasses 115,000 acres and is the oldest wildlife management area in Louisiana. Visit www.wlf.la.gov  for information on LDWF’s coastal wildlife management areas.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov  on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb  or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or firstname.lastname@example.org .