Cleanup

A group from Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University pulls discarded crab traps from the water in Pointe aux Chene

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“Travel in Pointe aux Chenes, a 35,000-acre swampy marshland southwest of New Orleans, is difficult. The 680 members of the Pointe-au-Chien Tribe who call it home historically used canoes carved from native bald cypress trees – a species often compared in size and majesty to California’s redwood. Today the wetlands’s acreage is more likely to be traversed on motorboat by hunters seeking waterfowl, mink, nutria, muskrat, and Inland saltwater fish species like crabs and shrimp. That is, if they can find them, as the district’s natural resources have been under attack for years.

Louisiana wetlands like Pointe Aux Chenes provide a crucial environmental service for the country as a whole. As the conduit between the freshwater of the Mississippi River and the oceanic Gulf of Mexico, thousands of acres of brackish swamp provide crucial ecosystem services like water purification, flood protection, shoreline stabilization and groundwater recovery. Further, the wetlands are a much needed “last line of defense” from superstorms in the gulf region by providing a natural buffer to wind and water surges like those that destroyed levees during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And they are home to thousands of species of flora and fauna from the shrimp and crabs that buoy local economies to the bald cypress trees that have evolved to withstand flooding better than any other species…”

Read on at: TriplePundit

Image credit Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Louisiana State University published under CC