Bonnie’s Volunteer View: Make an Impact on the NOLA Coastline

If you’re thinking about coming to the DRI Conference in my hometown, NOLA, why don’t you consider coming a day earlier and participate in our AWESOME DRI Foundation Volunteer Day events with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL)

We all know about the fun and festivities of New Orleans, but what we always remember is the FOOD. We have some of the best seafood in the world. And luckily it comes right from our own waterways. For those of us that grew up around all of this, fishing, shrimping or even oystering, we know how fresh our local seafood can be.

The Louisiana coast is an incredibly productive ecosystem largely because of Louisiana’s extensive wetlands. Numerous species of fish, birds and invertebrates inhabit Louisiana’s coastal waters for a portion of their lives, and some reside here for their entire life.

Coastal Louisiana wetlands act as fishery nursery grounds, increasing productivity by providing foraging opportunities and protection from predation. The productivity of shrimp and blue crab, which support important commercial fisheries, is closely linked to the marsh.

Our volunteer opportunities offer you an incredible opportunity to help preserve our coastline as well as to learn a bit more about how we do things differently here in South Louisiana. So come and make a contribution to the place we all know and love by taking part in one of the Volunteer Day activities Mar. 2:

Shucking and Building (Half-Day) – You will help prepare the shell for future restoration by shoveling oyster shells into mesh bags to contribute to the next reef build project. Volunteers will also help clean up our shell pile and remove trash and plastics as we bag. By helping prep the shell, volunteers will play a role in creating a new oyster reef that will allow for the growth of new oysters, create new fish habitat, and act as a wave break which will knock down storm surge and allow new land to build up behind the reef.

Riding, Planning and Building (Full Day) – You will take a boat ride to the Central Wetlands Unit where you will plant Cypress trees to create a coastal forest. These forests reduce the effects of storm surge and flooding, offer protection from hurricanes and safeguard local communities as well as improve water quality and create habitat for fish and wildlife.

You can register for Volunteer Day 2024 through conference registration. To learn more about what to expect when volunteering with the DRI Foundation, visit our Volunteerism page.

As we love to say, laissez les bons temps rouler, ya’ll. See you in March and don’t forget to come up and say hi!

Bonnie Canal
Director of Volunteerism
DRI Foundation