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In Good Company, REF and LAWF Partner to Restore Critical Louisiana Wetlands

Restore The Earth Foundation, Inc. (REF), announced today that Clif Bar and it’s not for profit In Good Company www.clifbar/sole/ returned for the second year with volunteers from 15 companies across the U.S. to continue restoration of critical wetlands in Louisiana.

4000 bags, 4 days, 4 acres for pelican rookeries

For an entire week, In Good Company’s 30 volunteers from Clif Bar, Eileen Fisher, Timberland, 7th Generation, Amy’s Kitchen, Annie’s Homegrown, and others worked together with Restore the Earth Foundation and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LAWF) [email protected] to build on the work started last year of shoring up and restoring fragile wetlands at Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area, (PAL), a site forty (40) miles into the Gulf of Mexico, where the Mississippi River ends and the Gulf of Mexico begins. This site is critically important to support the migratory bird flyway.

The group tossed 4,000 Gulf Saver® Bags from barge to boat and from boat to beach, and then planted over 12,000 EKOgrown® native grasses and black mangroves. “Our efforts will help stabilize and protect 20 acres of ecosystem, add valuable acreage for wildlife habitat, strengthen the hurricane buffer, and remediate oil contamination using Gulf Saver bags filled with a specially formulated composted media infused with natural oil eating microbes,” said Lucy Perna, Effects Marketing.

Our restoration last year survived Hurricane Isaac,” said Melissa Leebove, Clif Bar, “making the Gulf Saver wetland restoration, “Certified Hurricane Proof”, which the folks in Venice say is unbelievable. What an incredible difference a group of passionate people and a year make!”

Helping to restore and rebuild Louisiana wetlands “one bag at a time” is important to all of us in the United States. Forty (40%) percent of US coastal wetlands are in Louisiana and ninety (90%) percent of coastal wetland loss occurs in Louisiana, a football field of wetlands is lost every hour, said Shane Granier, LAWF Chief Biologist and Manager of PAL.

What’s at stake are some of our Nations most valuable natural resources that support industries and millions of jobs nationwide from: thirty (30%) percent of seafood consumed in the US; thirty (30%) percent of US crude oil production; twenty (20%) percent of natural gas production; twenty (20%) percent of US commercial fishing catch; eighteen (18%) of waterborne commerce; #1 habitat for millions of migratory birds; #1 marine nursery and the beginning of the food chain for the Caribbean Basin.

Volunteers interacted with the Venice community, wetland scientists, oil and gas and fishing industry folks. During the week, they flew over the delta wetlands and the restoration site with Southern Seaplane, were hosted by Foster Creppels at Woodlands Plantation, reveled and danced to the Cajun music of Grammy nominated, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. “After working our bee-hinds off to make this restoration project a huge success, we headed to New Orleans to celebrate,” said Brent Bucknum, Hyphae Design Laboratory, “it wasn’t all work and no play.”

“One of the greatest benefits is that every volunteer that comes here leaves with a good understanding of the problems we are facing…putting faces to places and faces to problems. Volunteers leave the experience transformed and become our ambassadors,” said Shane Granier.

“Restore the Earth Foundation, Inc. has an attitude of ‘let’s go to it, let’s get it done’. REF is a catalyst for targeting critical sites, providing innovative successful solutions and getting “boots on the ground” for environmental restoration. REF’s collaborative partner, In Good Company and its participating companies are leading by example in their commitment to making a difference through hands-on, “in the mud” volunteerism to create a positive impact, that’s the coolest part,” stated Trebor Victoriano, LAWF.

In early 2013, Restore the Earth Foundation, working with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, will begin habitat restoration on Raccoon Island, a barrier island in the Isle Dernieres Barrier Island Refuge and will also be back at Pass a Loutre in partnership with Americorps, Wells Fargo Bank, the Coypu and Gulf of Mexico Foundations and others.


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