The Coastal Christmas Tree Project

A Southern Focus

The Coastal Christmas Tree Project

By The EditorsJanuary 23, 2013

Louisiana’s Barataria Basin, located in Jefferson Parish, is the fastest eroding basin in the state. Though coastal restoration is a priority across Louisiana, funding—like its coastline—has also dwindled over the last several years. The folks of Jefferson Parish are taking matters into their own hands.

Inspired by the research of wetland scientists in the Netherlands, the parish took discarded Christmas trees and—rather than abandoning them in a landfill—used the trees to protect and help restore the marsh. They are used to construct shoreline fences, creating a wave break to slow land erosion. With calmer water between the fence and the shoreline, vegetation has an opportunity to grow. All the trees met strict requirements (no tinsel, lights, garland, tree stands, plastic bags, anything other than the natural tree). Besides the Christmas trees themselves, it’s the volunteers that really make this project possible. With the help of local police and fire departments, the trees were placed in cribs (boxes 3-to-5 feet wide and roughly 150 feet in length) and then taken out on the water in the boats of volunteers


G&G contributing photographer Rush Jagoe had the opportunity to document this year’s event with the many volunteers that make this Christmas Tree Recycling Project possible.