What grows around comes around: before and after in the Gulf Coast

What grows around comes around: before and after in the Gulf Coast

Blog post by Staci, “Buzz Team”

I have never been dirtier, bitten by so many bugs, or felt so lucky to be part of such an incredible volunteer project. In November 2011 I headed down south to the gulf coast of Louisiana as part of In Good Company, a partnership started by the wonderful folks at Clif Bar and like-minded companies to create access to healthy food, adequate housing and healthy environments in communities around the country. A group of 28 volunteers from 11 different companies spent the week in Venice, Louisiana, restoring the wetlands.


Take a look below for a picture journey of our week in Louisiana. 

Louisiana loses a football field of land every 30 minutes. Every one mile of land kills one foot of storm surge, and acts as the state’s first line of defense against hurricanes.

The first two days were spent moving 4,200 gulf saver bags to our site which was located right where Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, about a 1.5 hour commute by boat each way.


At the site we grouped gulf saver bags in threes, and then staked them down. Holes were then dug in each bag to make room for the plants. 


Plants were placed in the bag, “sewn” shut with a BBQ skewer, and covered with dirt to strengthen them against the tide.

Four days, 4,200 bags and plants later, our site was covered with this.  (The tiny dots are the plants and bags!)


We worked hard and earned a few well-deserved off days. We saw the Louisiana Bayous via seaplane and airboat, ventured to a plantation to see a Zydeco band perform, and stuffed ourselves with the local cuisine.


The bags decomposed after a month. Now after nine months, the entire site is covered with mangrove and sea grass (the plants originally in the bags). Here is a before and after image: 

Before and After: 9 Months Later

 Who planted the Labrador?