Louisiana’s National Treasure
Louisiana’s coastal wetland forests are of tremendous ecological, cultural, economic and recreational value. In all there are greater than two million acres of forested wetland throughout Louisiana, but the forests are under threat from non-sustainable forest practices, global warming and rising ocean levels.
This unique forest ecosystem is exists in a balance between dry land, fresh water from the Mississippi River basin, and saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico. The forests provide habitat for threatened species like the Louisiana black bear and bald eagle as well as economically important species such as crawfish and waterfowl. In addition, millions of birds, including virtually all of the eastern neo-tropical migrant bird species in the United States and numerous species from the western United States, migrate through the coastal forests of Louisiana during spring and fall.
The region’s cypress forests are important for holding together freshwater coastal wetlands, helping protect communities from hurricanes by reducing the storm surge, preventing erosion and acting as a filter for cleaning water. Louisiana can lay claim to about 40 percent of coastal wetlands in the continental U.S., yet for the past several decades, Louisiana has lost as much as 40 square miles of marsh each year — 80 percent of the nation’s annual coastal wetland loss.
There is a new and disturbing threat to these forests: cypress mulch. The popularity of cypress mulch is endangering our coastal forests and the protection they provide our region. Instead of being a byproduct of the lumber industry, entire stands of cypress forest are being logged to produce cypress mulch. Recent scientific reports express concern that a majority of Louisiana’s cypress forest will not grow back if it is logged.
Learn More – visit our partners at the Gulf Restoration Network and the Save Our Cypress Coalition.
Take Action – tell some of the largest retail chains in the world to abandon cypress mulch products.
Donate – support our work to protect the Deep South and the rest of this amazing region.