Scott Fujita may be a Cleveland Brown now, but his heart remains with the Gulf Coast. The former New Orleans Saints linebacker donated $12,500 — half of his Super Bowl earnings — in April to America's WETLAND Foundation to support coastal restoration plantings in Louisiana's marshes. In the wake of the devastating Gulf oil spill, Fujita is again teaming up with AWF, this time in launching a text-messaging drive to raise funds to support volunteer planting and restoration projects following the oil cleanup.

Fujita recently taped a public service announcement (video below) that urges supporters to “Give Now” by texting “isupport wetlands” to 20222, then replying “yes” when asked for confirmation of their $10 donation. All donations will go directly to support the work of the America’s WETLAND Conservation Corps (AWCC), an LSU Ag Center-based AmeriCorps program that will manage volunteers and plantings in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill. In a press release from the America's WETLAND Founcation, Fujita states, “These wetlands, already endangered due to coastal erosion, need all of us to pitch in to save this internationally important habitat,” Fujita said. “Please join me to save this threatened area. Now, more than ever, it is cit is critical to protect America’s wetlands.

Hilary Collis, program director of the AWCC, adds: “We estimate it would cost between $2,500 and $5,000 to purchase the plants needed to restore a wetland habitat the size of a football field. Once areas are declared safe, and don’t require the wearing of hazardous material clothing, we will go in and replant areas that need it."
Each plug of Smooth Cord Grass, the primary grass used for wetlands restoration, costs about $1.00. The grass grows well in salt and brackish water at low levels and has an intricate root system that supports retention of marshland. One text message donation will purchase 10 plants.

For more information, or to donate online, visit am www.americaswetland.com and click on the “Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund."

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