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Resurrected from September 2007 . . . — 3 Comments

  1. Saltwater intrusion is not the only factor leading to the destruction of the cypress swamps in the Louisiana Coastland and all along the gulf coast. Cypress trees are bing clearcut to make cypress mulch which is then being distributed throughout the country by companies like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s. There are many myths about cypress mulch, like that it is insect, rot resistant or that it won’t float way. However, a study done by the University of Florida (http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/Extension/pubtxt/cir1186.htm) showed that none of these are true. In order for cypress trees to obtain these characteristics they need hundreds of year to develop the heartwood, but most of the trees being made into mulch are younger trees. Once these trees are cut down it is nearly impossible for them to grow back due to salt water intrusion and other species of vegetation taking there place. Citizens should take action and tell Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart to stop selling cypress mulch and switch to more sustainable alternatives like pine straw or pine bark, which work just as well if not better. To learn more about how to help visit http://www.saveourcypress.org or http://www.gulfrestorationnetwork.org.

    Jessica, thanks for this information which my readers can benefit from. Just let me clarify that my writing applies to a 15 mile radius around where I live. The cypress here were not clear cut but were alive and beautiful before all the hydrologic modification allowed the saltwater to flow easily into the swamps, killing them slowly. I have actually observed this slow death for the past 30 years. It’s been a hard thing to watch.

  2. The cypress clearcutting, although illegal in Louisiana, seems to be going on any way. It has an impact on the migratory birds and surely is another of the factors in coastal erosion.

    Because of that erosion, your Cypress trees are dying a much slower death than being radically cut down, but the result is the same – death of an ecosystem.

    A sad and frustrating situation.

  3. Wow, that was a beautifully written post, and really drew me into the current situation. As a past Florida coastal resident, I’m aware of the effects of saltwater intrusion.

    Would you please write a followup post about the possible solutions available to either reverse or forestall the damage to the wetlands? What can be done, and specifically, what can we do?

    Trish

    Yes, I was hoping to do that, and will now do so knowing that there is at least one person who will read it! Thanks, Trish!

    Something everyone can do now, is checkout the sites listed, or buy a copy of my book, which tells the story in a simple way for all ages. I am going to use the profits to buy marsh grass to plant at a local restoration site later this year.

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