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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Volunteers Work to Rebuild New Orleans' Wetlands
05 Apr 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Volunteers Work to Rebuild New Orleans' Wetlands

Interview with Danny Breaux, 20-year employee with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

The area around New Orleans has lost much of the wetland acreage that helped protect the city from hurricane storm surges. Since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, many public agencies and private organizations have increased their efforts to plant grasses and trees at the water's edge to enable soil to gather around the roots and gradually build more protective land.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus participated in one such effort in late March, in conjunction with Common Ground Relief and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She joined a group of 25 volunteers that were ferried by airboat to a tiny piece of reclaimed land in the Big Branch Wildlife Preserve on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain, about an hour from New Orleans. After spotting half a dozen small alligators in the canal on the trip, they spent the day planting spartina grass, salt hay and bulrushes, often sinking into the black mud above their knees.

Tuhus spoke with Danny Breaux, a 20-year employee of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service who coordinates volunteer efforts at Big Branch. He talked about the impacts of soil erosion on residents' safety in hurricane season, as well as the importance of wetlands to the Louisiana fisheries industry.

Contact the Fish & Wildlife Service at (504) 442-2314 or visit their website at Additional information on the group Common Ground Relief can be found on their website

Related links:

* Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana in Baton Rouge at



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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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