Dec. 14, 2011 -- Volunteers from across the nation spent a week in November deploying 4,000 Gulf Saver Bags to restore marsh habitat at Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) at the southernmost tip of Plaquemines Parish.
Coordinated by the Restore the Earth Foundation, Inc., Americorps volunteer teams from the National Civilian Community Corps Southern Region prepared and installed the bags. LDWF Coastal and Nongame Resources Division staff assisted with delivery of volunteers and materials to the site.
The Gulf Saver Bag is a biodegradable burlap bag filled with a site-specific, custom mix of all natural humus, organic matter, vital nutrients and microbes, that provides a base for plants to thrive. Marsh grasses are planted directly into the bags. The bags then de-grade over a three to four month period after the plant roots have been successfully established.
Three previous bag deployments in the last 12 months have reestablished native vegetation, creating and expanding new marsh, increasing wetland habitat for wildlife and providing a seed source for natural regeneration.
Funding for the Gulf Saver Bags utilized in the November deployment was provided by the Clif Bar Foundation and In Good Company. Additional volunteer support was provided by Eileen Fisher and representatives of Annie’s Homegrown, the Children’s Creative Learning Center, Effect Marketing, Hyphae, Quality Bicycle Products, States Logistics, Seventh Generation and Timberland.
Pass a Loutre WMA, at the mouth of the Mississippi River, provides valuable wildlife habitat within one of nation’s most important migratory bird fly-ways. Portions of that habitat were severely impacted by hurricane activity in 2005 and 2008, and oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The 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.