Coastal Restoration

New Orleans is famous for its world class seafood, but that's not theonly great thing to come from the Gulf Coast. The coastal restoration programs offered by our local organizations will show you how your efforts can make a difference.    

Bayou Rebirth
Contact: Paxson Sterling

Bayou Rebirth has the mission of matching volunteers to wetlands restoration projects in the Southeast Louisiana. Healthy wetlands once surrounded the greater New Orleans area and protected it from hurricane storm surge, but various human activities have led to their degradation and disappearance.

In collaboration with its partner organization, Common Ground Relief, Bayou Rebirth facilitates volunteer planting projects in the wetlands that surround the city and grows out the plant material for those projects. Bayou Rebirth is responsible for the operation's nursery in New Orleans East and the Neighborhood Nursery Program, which is establishing wetland plant nurseries in vacant lots around the city and engaging local volunteers in maintaining the nurseries. The two organizations are also partnering to install rain gardens alongside buildings and homes, which use native freshwater plants to trap rainwater during storms and decreasing the load on the system that pumps water out of the city.

Bayou Rebirth offers a full day or half day of volunteer work (minimum of four hours), depending on the group's interest. Planting projects require a full day and groups of 50 volunteers or less is optimal. Half day projects include work at the New Orleans East nursery, one of the Neighborhood Nurseries, or at a rain garden project. There is a fee charged that pays for the coordination and materials for the project, and depends on the project and number of volunteers.

Common Ground Relief, Inc.

Common Ground Relief, Inc. conducts bottomland hardwood trees and marsh grass installations throughout the bayous and urban forest surrounding Greater New Orleans. Half day and full day excursions led by trained personnel are available for groups up to 40. Work can include care and maintenance of plants grown at the Common Ground Relief Wetlands Restoration Station in New Orleans East or a full day excursion planting trees.

We also have our Gulf Saver Bag Initiative for hardy souls interested in a boat ride down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico to plant marsh grass and black mangrove trees.

Call our Wetlands Coordinator for projects, pricing and availability. Volunteer Housing, including 3 meals per day, is available for groups as large as 30. The cost is $20 per day per person.

More than 35,000 volunteers have participated in our wetlands and rebuilding programs since September 2005. We have created a wetlands demonstration area at our offices as well as constructed an example of the energy efficient, affordable housing we are constructing with our contractor partner throughout the region.

Global Green USA
Contact: Camille Lopez,

Global Green USA works to address global climate change through our green affordable housing initiatives, National Green Schools Initiative, national and regional green building policies, advocacy and education. In New Orleans, Global Green works to empower New Orleanians by providing them with free and trustworthy technical assistance and energy efficiency education that enables them to reduce their energy consumption. Energy efficiency upgrades are a powerful way to combat climate change while improving quality of life for low and moderate income residents, who often spend more than 25% of their income on utility bills, more than they spend on education and health care. To date, Global Green has provided green building information to over 20,000 New Orleans residents and partnered with community organizations to deliver hundreds of outreach events and workshops to the public. The need in the community is great, according to Global Green's clients: "I was always cold. I would turn up the heat and still have to put on multiple layers of clothes. I needed help in lowering my utility bill, but I didn't know what needed to be done."

Here's what clients have said about Global Green's services: "It's really amazing the money I saved. With Global Green's advice I was able to help my sister - she's 85 - and help my daughter. I live a better quality of life because of their help."

Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in home weatherization projects, which reduce homeowners' utility bills as well as strengthen the long-term financial and environmental sustainability of the community. Tasks consist of installing radiant barriers in attics, sealing HVAC ducts, caulking and weather-stripping, replacing shower heads with low flow systems, installing dual flush kits in toilets, replacing faucet aerators, and cleaning door and window jambs. Must like working with hands; be able to tolerate crouching, bending and reaching; be comfortable with getting dirty. Volunteers will be asked to sign a waiver of liability, and wear long pants and close-toed shoes. Ideal team sizes are 5-15 volunteers, and would most likely be spread out among several houses in the same neighborhood. Work hours are 10am - 4pm.

Suggested support levels to cover staff, overhead and materials costs: Green - $500; Greener $1000; Greenest $2000.

Hike For KaTREEna
Contact : Connie Uddo, Merri Kay Graves

New Orleans suffered many losses in Katrina and its aftermath. One of the major casualties was trees. Over 100,000 trees were lost. In 2006, Monique Pilie, hiked 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness of the storm's impact on the city's tree-scape and to raise money to begin replanting the city . Thus, in 2007 the grass root, nonprofit, Hike For Katreena organization was born. Hike For Katreena has planted 8,000 trees as of January 2011 and continues its goal to replace the 100,000 trees lost.

Volunteers are welcome to join us by planting trees through out the city of New Orleans. We plant parks, schools, public medians and residential homes. Volunteers also assist in the mulching, trimming and maintenance of new trees planted by the city and Hike For Katreena.

  • All ages are welcome to join us ... young children and families love planting trees!!
  • Projects range from half day (9-12 or 12 -3) to full day (9-3). We are flexible on hours
  • We ask for an in-kind donation of $10 per person per day for small groups and $50 per person per day for groups over 40 people to cover our planting expenses.
  • Money to purchase trees is always welcomed
  • Volunteers provide own transportation and lunch
  • Water, gloves and equipment is provided by HFK
  • T-shirts are available for purchase on website or worksite. Corporate groups can contact us about pre-purchasing for their workday.

Restore the Earth Foundation Inc.
Contact: P.J. Marshal:
Leslie Carrere

Be a Gulf Saver! Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty! Take action to help restore Louisiana wetlands, wildlife habitat and forests damaged by hurricanes and the oil spill.

Join us in an empowering experience, doing something uniquely positive to restore one of the most important at risk ecosystems in the U.S.

Why is this Louisiana coastal ecosystem so important -- 40 percent of US coastal wetlands are in Louisiana; 90 percent of coastal wetland loss occurs in Louisiana (a football field every hour). The Louisiana Gulf Coast provides: 30 percent of US crude oil production; 20 percent of US natural gas production; 30 percent of US domestic sea food; 20 percent of US commercial fishing catch; 18 percent of Waterborne commerce; 5 of the 15 largest US ports; nine National Wildlife Refuges totaling 280,000 acres; No. 1 winter habitat for millions of migratory birds; and the nursery and beginning of the food chain for the Caribbean Basin.

Gain a better understanding of the State of the Gulf today, the impact of the hurricanes and oil spill, and the long term recovery process. Interact with the people who depend on, live, work and enjoy the recreational opportunities in this critical environmental ecosystem.

Restore the Earth Foundation Inc. a 501(c) (3) has a successful track record of responding to critical restoration challenges with "boots on the ground" models. To-date with its successful reforestation initiatives, 30,000 acres of hurricane damaged forests have been restored. Restore the Earth's Gulf Saver wetland restoration is an in innovative solution that restores valuable wetlands and wildlife habitats.

Restore the Earth Foundation Inc. will work with you to fully coordinate your high impact environmental restoration volunteer activity. With your contribution, you can leave the Gulf Coast a little bit better with just a few hours or days.

Please contact Restore the Earth Foundation for restoration work scope, requirements and fees. Environmental restoration is a major and rewarding commitment.