Oysters are a cultural cornerstone in Louisiana — they’re tasty, they’re beautiful, and they bring people together. Louisiana oysters’ flavor is equally at home in fine-dining establishments and the laissez-faire po-boy shop, and they have a starring role in some of the region’s signature dishes: oysters Rockefeller, oyster dressing, and seafood gumbo.
But did you know that these modest mollusks also help protect our coastline?
Over the past century, human engineering of the Mississippi River has greatly reduced the amount of sediment delivered to wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta. Half of the river’s sediment is trapped behind upstream dams and, in the lower river, levees block the rest of the sediment from reaching wetlands during floods.
Despite the river’s reduced sediment load, rapid growth of the Wax Lake Delta in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin shows that the remaining sediment in the Mississippi River is enough to build substantial amounts of land in targeted areas.
At the CRCL, we’ve been wondering: “What can we use to increase the speed and detail of the scientific monitoring our projects require?” Also: “What tool can illustrate the remarkable work of our volunteers while adding engaging context on the locations of our restoration sites?” We’re happy to report that the answer to both questions is a flying robot. With its powerful motors, advanced camera and adorable googly eyes, our drone is critically useful for our efforts.
The Louisiana Legislature’s 2019 regular session ended at the beginning of June. Overall, as expected, this was a relatively sedate session for coastal issues. The CRCL began the session by releasing our 2019 Legislative Platform, which was shared with all legislators. We are happy that our main priorities – passing the annual plan and restoring funds raided from the coastal trust fund – made it through.
Speaking of our oyster shell recycling program, we need volunteers on June 29 to help load bags of shells onto boats and deploy them into the water. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Lunch and drinks are provided. This is a fun and interesting way for individuals or groups to play an active role in creating a living shoreline to help protect against erosion, encourage growth of new oysters, and create a new habitat for fish.
Registration is online at Eventbrite, and if you can’t make it to this event, please try to join us for a future volunteer opportunity.
We want you! (to help us save the Louisiana coast)
The CRCL is hiring! We are seeking to fill three AmeriCorps positions: Monitoring Technician, Outreach Assistant, and Oyster Shell Recycling Technician. These are full-time, 11-month appointments that provide a living allowance, education awards, health insurance and other perks. These are great networking and professional development opportunities offered in partnership with Serve Louisiana. The priority deadline is June 30, so don't wait.