LAFITTE, La. — Thousands of recycled Christmas trees are set to be placed in bayous along Louisiana's coast to help restore the coastline.
More than 110 volunteers will gather in Laffitte, La., Saturday as part of Jefferson Parish's 29th annual Christmas tree recycling event. Those volunteers will use 30 boats to place 5,200 recycled Christmas trees into Goose Bayou to protect Louisiana from storm surge and erosion.
The trees will be placed in a wooden cribbing that will act like a fence to slow down waves and trap sediment. As the trees break down and settle, the land starts to reform.
Since 1991, 800,000 trees have been donated through Jefferson Parish's recycling program. Coastal Management Department Coordinator Lauren Averill says Jefferson Parish's program is the largest and longest continuing Christmas tree recycling program in the country.
"This marsh acts as the first line of defense for storm surge against major hurricanes and storms," Averill said.
“For nearly 30 years, the Christmas Tree recycling program has played an important role in rebuilding the marsh and protecting our coastline in Louisiana,” Jefferson Parish Councilman Ricky Templet, District 1 said.
Templet said that the program has "captured and restored" 16 acres of Louisiana's coast in Jefferson Parish since the program has started. He added that the trees immediately begin to trap the sediment once placed.
"That's a big impact to coastal protection and hurricane protection," Templet said.
Work is expected to begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and wrap up at 1 p.m. There will be a seafood fry and music for volunteers after.
The Jefferson Parish Coastal Management Department is still looking for more volunteers to help. Residents can call 504-736-6441 to register.
WWL-TV reporter Meghan Kee can be reached at email@example.com; Follow her on Twitter at @MeghanKeeWWL