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YEAR 2005 - CRP Project #4004 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #4004
Lafayette Middle School E-Watchers

Peveto Beach, Louisiana

Greenhouse to be renovated - click to enlarge
Grant funds will pay for this on-campus greenhouse to be renovated. Students will use it to grow wetland plants for marine restoration.

Project name: Lafayette Middle School E-Watchers (#4004)
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: Lafayette Middle School
Project location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Grant period: Jan 1, 2021 to Dec 31, 2020
Grant amount: $70,000
Land Ownership: Public
Types of Habitat and Lat/Long:
Brackish marsh (Bayside of Fourchon Beach – 90,10,11.1;29,6,50.7),
Barrier island (Fifi Island –89,59,21.3;29,15,23.2;
La. Hwy.1 near Fourchon north site- 90,8,43.3; 29,10,14.2;
and south site – 90,11,43.6; 29,10,35.4),
Dune restoration (Constance Beach 29*,45’,39”; 93*, 34’,6”
and Rutherford beach 29*,46’,12”; 93*,10’,38”);
Half-acre wetland (Lafayette Middle School - 91*,1’,11”; 30*,13’,30”)
Project leader: Charni Dodson
                         107 Renel Drive
                         Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
                         (337) 896-7225 phone
                         (337) 235-4971 fax

Fifi Island map - click to enlarge
Fifi Island, just off Grand Isle, Louisiana, is where the students will
plant the mangroves they grow in the school greenhouse.

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
     Blue crab – Callinectes sapidus
     Brown shrimp – Penaeus aztecus
     White shrimp – Penaeus vannamei
     Red drum – Sciaenops ocellatus
     Speckled trout – Salvelinus frontinalis
     Paddlefish – Polyodon spatula
     Spartina – Spartina alternaflora
     Black mangrove – Avicennia germinans
     Seashore panicum – Panisum virgatum
     Seashore paspalum – Paspalum vaginatum

Project Description:
This project has restoration and educational components. We plan to restore a donated green house and build a canyard to raise plants for year-round restoration projects where students harvest seeds, raise plants, and return plants to designated sites.

Project Objectives:
  1. Raise Spartina alterniflora to be replanted in designated areas
  2. Collect, germinate, and replant black mangrove to reestablish maritime ridge and add vegetation to the area that will encourage migrating species to nest; the black mangrove also provides habitat for larval forms of marine life such as shrimp, crab, speckle trout and other fin fish
  3. Grow submerged aquatic grasses for replanting
  4. Hatch and raise paddle fish to be returned to the Atchafalaya basin

Community Involvement and Education:

  1. NWRC are helping students to plan the building of the half-acre campus wetland, and educating students on native wetland plants verses intrusive plants and animals.
  2. LADWF are educating students on the raising of native paddlefish and donation of fish for students to raise and return to the wild.
  3. ULL School of Architecture students are helping students design the outdoor classroom area of the campus wetland.
  4. Americore volunteers will be helping to construct the wetland, the restoration of the greenhouse, and the outdoor classroom area.
  5. Home Depot employees will be helping with all phases of the construction.
  6. Parents and community volunteers will be helping the Americore volunteers in the above activities. They will also be involved in the harvesting, planting, and transplanting of plants at various restoration cites.

This project is intended to be part of a larger regional effort to restore Louisiana’s wetlands. We have listed anticipated cites that we will be working with. When the life of the grant is over, we plan to continue supporting coastal restoration by using the facilities on our campus that the grant monies helped us build to continue raising and supplying plants to wetland areas in need. The children at our school will be able to study the benefits of past student efforts 5 to 10 years from now.

April 22, 2021 - Rick Poulan, principal of Lafayette Middle School, along with the middle school science program created a wetlands education initiative. They have committed a tremendous amount of time and energy to engage the community, construct a wetland and greenhouse on school property, and develop curriculum to broaden their class' life experience.

Click on photo to enlarge

Student volunteers - click to enlarge
Student volunteers help clean out the inside of the greenhouse.

Students in boat - click to enlarge
Boat used to transport students.

Students collect mangrove seeds - click to enlarge
Students collect mangrove seeds from area wetland

Student volunteers - click to enlarge
Group of student volunteers

Students grow the mangrove seeds in the classroom to later replant in the wild.

Students plant seedlings - click to enlarge
Students plant seedlings that they grew.

Students collect mangrove seeds - click to enlarge
Students collect mangrove seeds from area wetland

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Service Learning Grant – (Louisiana Lt. Governor’s Office)

National Wetland Research Center (NWRC)

LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Booker Fowler Hatchery

University of New Orleans (UNO)

Louisiana Sea Grant

Lafayette & St. Martin Soil & Water Conservation District

University of Louisiana, Lafayette Campus School of Architecture

Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection & Restoration Act Outreach Committee

State Farm Insurance Company – (Morris Anderson)

Louisiana State University Agriculture Center

Louisiana Technical College – Lafayette Campus (LTC-LC)

Home Depot

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
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webmaster: Carrie Robertson