Christmas Tree Marsh Restoration

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Our Christmas tree recycling shoreline protection project is currently in its 30th year and going strong diverting hundreds of thousands of Christmas trees from the Jefferson Parish Landfill to the rich wetland habitat within the Barataria Basin. Recycled trees are used to build wave dampening fences and to fill in man-made canals to help reduce coastal erosion and reestablish the natural hydrology of the area. Since its inception, more than 15,500 linear feet of shoreline wave dampening fences have been constructed and six abandoned oil and gas canals have been filled near the town of Jean Lafitte. Additionally, we utilize our Christmas tree recycling project to increase public awareness of wetland losses, solid waste issues, and conservation of our natural resources.

Project Quick Facts

  • Since 1991, over 800,000 Christmas trees, or over 900 linear miles worth, have been recycled by using them to mitigate shoreline erosion and rebuild wetlands, rather than taking up valuable landfill space.
  • Approximately 5,000 trees are collected annually and are used to build tree fences that slow wave action, trap sediments, combat erosion, and protect wetlands

Awards and Recognition

  • 1994 - National Association of Counties Environmental Achievement Award
  • 1995 - Bureau of Governmental Research Excellence in Government Keller Award
  • 1996 - Renew America National Award for Environmental Sustainability
  • 1997 – Parish received 70 Christmas Trees from the White House
  • 1999 - U.S. EPA Region 6 Administrator’s Envir. Excellence Award for Envir. Education
  • 2000 – SWANA/NCTA Christmas Tree Recycling Excellence Award
  • 2001 – Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s Coastal Stewardship Organization Award for Efforts to Preserve and Restore Louisiana’s Threatened Coastal Wetlands
  • 2001 – Walter B. Jones Memorial Award Excellence in Local Government for Coastal and Ocean Resource Management

Click here to watch project coverage provided by NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.

Click the PDF below to see a map of our current tree fences and adjacent shoreline changes.