Recycled Christmas trees help rebuild coastal Louisiana - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Recycled Christmas trees help rebuild coastal Louisiana

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(Photo Courtesy: City of New Orleans) Christmas tree drop in Bayou Sauvage. March 27, 2013 (Photo Courtesy: City of New Orleans) Christmas tree drop in Bayou Sauvage. March 27, 2013

New Orleans, La. - Christmas trees collected in Orleans Parish following the 2012 holiday help rebuild the marsh in Bayou Sauvage.

Louisiana National Guard troops dropped the trees in pre-selected coastal zones as part of a program to create new marsh habitat.

The City's Department of Sanitation, Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs and the Materials Management Group led the effort to collect, sort, and bundle the Christmas trees gathered curbside in Orleans Parish. Additionally, the City's collection contractors, Richard's Disposal, Metro Disposal and Progressive Waste Solutions, assisted with the Christmas tree recycling project.

The city collected more than 9,000 Christmas trees in 2012.

"I greatly appreciate the residents who participated in this program and the agencies that partnered with the City to make this program possible. Working together, we can all play a part in rebuilding and preserving our urban wetlands," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

The trees are used to establish a breakwater in open ponds on the refuge to trap silt and encourage the growth of marsh grasses. Many of these ponds have enlarged considerably in recent years as wave action erodes the shoreline. This "ponding effect" also causes the ponds to deepen and become cloudy, inhibiting the plant growth that supports the refuge's large wintering waterfowl populations.

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