Sunday we flew to photograph recent efforts to restore Louisiana’s Coastal Forests on the westbank of the Mississippi. The Bottomland Hardwoods of Woodlands Conservancy are some of the southernmost coastal wetland forests along the mainstem of the Mississippi River—most of the former forested areas have been bulldozed for urban development, destroyed by saltwater from the MRGO, or leveled by Katrina’s awesome winds and surge.
Once a cypress swamp, the entire peninsula has been drastically drained since the establishment of a suburban golf course and subdivision. Cypress trees grow perched several feet into the air, their roots exposed by pump-induced subsidence. The perched trees did not fare well in Katrina’s tremendous winds. We saw many signs of recovery, although in places the invasive Chinese tallow threatens many young oak and cypress saplings that have been replanted by scores of volunteer groups since 2009.
Ms Brasted, a native of West Virginia but resident of New Orleans for decades, has spent decades building and rebuilding the trails. She has been determined to see the forest grow through the storm. She has collaborated with Dr Sean Anderson, of University of California Channel Islands, to administer and monitor a tallow control project in the past several years. Our survey pictures, once published, will help demonstrate and evaluate that effort.
We took many, many pictures at a relatively low level. The weather was near perfect, save for being slightly overcast. The rig shifted in the air twice, though, so we got the rig in the shots.
Now that i've got the logistics of canoeing into the site scoped out, I plan to re-survey a smaller portion of this specific area. Sean is really into the quad-rotor stuff, so i'm hoping these photos will get him to take his son's toy quad-rotor drone and use it to monitor this project (sorry, son of dr. anderson)
Will reach out to him for assistance with these photos--there are a lot of them!