BTNEP to host Open Volunteer Days in July

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
BTNEP volunteers are of all ages.

The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program’s (BTNEP) is giving the public additional opportunities to volunteer in its coastal restoration efforts. The public is invited to take part in its Open Volunteer Days every Wednesday and Thursday in the month of July.

Volunteers are asked to join BTNEP between the hours of 9am-3pm at the Native Plant Production Facility located on the Nicholls State University Farm at 104 Thoroughbred Park Drive, Thibodaux.

Volunteers will be transferring recently germinated red mulberry seedlings into containers for grow out or dividing and increasing marsh grasses. Grown out plants will be used in future coastal restoration projects within the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Basins. Lunch, water, bug spray, and sunscreen will all be provided.

So why should you volunteer?

Volunteers are one of the most important resources BTNEP has. The ability of people to work willingly

together in order to protect the land that so many live and rely on is a valuable asset. Volunteers are given the opportunity to make a direct impact on the coastal land loss our area is facing. A volunteer’s commitment, time, and labor constitutes a major contribution towards preserving land that is such a valuable resource not only to the coast, but also to others around the country.

About BTNEP’s Volunteer Program.

Coastal Louisiana is of immense importance to our nation’s economy and it should be restored and protected. The Barataria and Terrebonne Basins are vital to coastal Louisiana’s seafood production and habitats for migratory birds, but due to coastal land loss, these resources are being depleted. The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) encourages people to volunteer to help restore the habitats in the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuarine System.

Since the 1990’s, BTNEP has worked to educate the public about issues concerning coastal Louisiana and in getting the public involved in restoration efforts. A major aspect of the current volunteer program is propagating and planting native species in areas heavily affected by sea level rise and subsidence. Mostly made up of salt, brackish, and freshwater marshes, these affected areas are increasingly transitioning from healthy marsh to shallow open water. In an effort to counter these effects, BTNEP utilizes volunteers for plantings of native marshes species to help stabilize soil and accumulate sediment. Volunteers are also utilized in cleaning efforts of the marshes and beach areas in order to keep these habitats clean and safe.

In addition to marsh restoration, BTNEP is on the forefront of ridge restoration growing out native trees to help stabilize ridges. Annually, BTNEP coordinates 500-800 volunteers to participate in native vegetation plantings as well as coastal and inland debris cleanups. BTNEP volunteers come from all across the nation to help restore the areas affected by coastal land loss as well as learn about the ecological and economical importance of coastal Louisiana. BTNEP hosts 25 to 30 volunteer events a years in communication with BTNEP’s Native Plant Program and Education Program.

For more information about BTNEP’s Volunteer program, visit our website at, email Seth Moncrief, BTNEP Volunteer Coordinator at or call the office at 985-447-0868.

Contributed by BTNEP