Louisiana communities are reusing Christmas trees for erosion control projects
Local governments across the coast of Louisiana have been collecting Christmas trees and repurposing them for coastal erosion control projects. Terrebonne Parish, Jefferson Parish and the city of New Orleans will be collecting trees for the erosion control projects during the first weeks of January. According to New Orleans Public Radio, only real trees may be recycled and the trees should be cleared of all decorations when left on the curb.
In Terrebonne Parish, the collection will be Jan. 2 to 4 on normal trash collection day. Christmas trees will be placed along the Intracoastal Waterway near the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge to fight erosion.
In Jefferson Parish, trees will be collected Jan. 11 to 13 on the normal trash collection day. Recycled trees will be brought to Lafitte where they will be used to help protect Goose Bayou.
Additionally, in the city of New Orleans, trees will be collected Jan. 10 to 12 and brought to the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East. Recycled Christmas trees will be piled up to help rebuild eroded marsh there.
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) helped to coordinate the Christmas tree recycling program originally, as reported by The Advocate. The group advocates that the trees trap sediment and provide a buffer against wave action, finding new life post-holiday season.
“CRCL was instrumental in getting the original program off the ground 30 years ago,” executive director Kim Reyher said. “Although we aren’t directly involved with collecting and placing the trees in the marsh any longer, we still get tons of calls after the holidays. This new web page [CRCL.org] is a way for us to support the great work these parishes are doing and help get the word out.”