State funding that has put recycled Christmas trees on the front line of coastal defense has been expired for a couple of years now, but Rob Moreau, the manager of SLU’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, plans to seek grants to keep it going and is also open to funding from corporations.
Moreau says two grants of 10 and 14 years each from the Department of Natural Resources expired a couple of years ago and affected other organizations doing the same project.
"We've just been doing a smaller version since then, just focusing on Christmas trees," he says. "We're not buying anymore marsh plants or anything. We'll just keep it running until we can find more grants and get it back to what it was before."
The Christmas tree program is important for at least three reasons, says Moreau.
"It does help to build land in certain areas when you deploy the Christmas trees correctly and you match it with some sort of marsh restoration planting program," he says.
Another reason is that "it's a great way to get the community involved," he says and provides students and community volunteers with "hands-on in the wetlands" and allows them to see how the work is done.
And dropping the trees on the coast keeps them out of the landfill.
Moreau says in addition to grant writing, he is also open to companies and corporations who may want to contribute to help save the coast.
"I'm always flexible to other funding," says Moreau.