Local conservation groups and students create new marsh in Prien Lake

Shoreline restoration project

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Local conservation groups and students teamed up to help rebuild the coastline near Prien Lake.

Volunteers from Phillips 66, the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana’s Lake Charles Chapter, and Martin Ecosystems helped nearly 100 students build floating islands.

“These islands float on the water, they’re planted with native marsh grass; the marsh grass grows through the bottom of the plants and anchors themselves to the seafloor," volunteer Ed Landgraf said. "In two years, you will not be able to tell the difference between these artificial floating islands and the native marsh.”

It’s all part of a restoration project to help protect the existing shoreline that is slowly eroding.

“I think it’s fun and it’s helping the community," fourth-grader Jayme Williams said.

School leaders said projects like these are important because they give students a better understanding of the environment.

“Anytime we can give our students a hands-on experience we are running for it because a lot of times we are just showing them videos, showing pictures and so this is a much more tangible piece," Pearl Watson Elementary School principal Shaunte Guillory said.

The plants are expected to take root and rebuild the shoreline for years to come.

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