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Coastal Desk

Friday is Earth Day: here are six ways to volunteer in south Louisiana

1024px-Intracoastal_Waterway_Louisiana.jpg
Lane Lefort
/
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

With Earth Day right around the corner, you might be looking for ways to show your appreciation to this beautiful planet we call home.

In south Louisiana, there are plenty of ways one can volunteer and clean up their community, so we put together a list of opportunities taking place April 22 and throughout the weekend. Here are six ways to volunteer:

1. Build an oyster reef in Plaquemines Parish.

CRCL oyster reef building
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

The Coalition to Restore Coastal needs volunteers to help build an oyster reef to protect one of the Grand Bayou tribe's cultural sites from coastal erosion. Help move bags of oyster shells on Friday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register here.

2. Clean up catch basins ahead of hurricane season.

Beach-Sweep-15-2-1024x768.jpg
Pontchartrain Conservancy

The Pontchartrain Conservancy is hosting a "Storm Sweep" that kicks off on Earth Day to clean up Lake Pontchartrain and promote storm preparedness. Meet in Covington at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 22. Gloves will be provided, and free t-shirts might even be involved. Learn more and register here.

3. Pick up litter around one of the country’s oldest urban parks.

800px-City_Park_Bayou_Bridge.JPG
Infrogmation
/
Wikimedia Commons

City Park is looking for help cleaning up its greenspaces and bayou banks. Grab a friend (or 10), and sign up to volunteer for two hours between 8:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Friday morning. Sign up here.

4. Ride on a boat to pick up trash in the water of the Atchafalaya Swamp.

atchafalaya swamp
Travis Lux
/
WWNO

Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is leading a clean up of the I-10 Atchafalaya Swamp on boats starting bright and early at 6 a.m. Friday. But in exchange for the early morning, bags for litter collection, sunblock, water and life jackets will be available. They'll also have some free shirts! Check-in will be located at 1908 Atchafalaya River Hwy. in Breaux Bridge. Click here for more information.

5. Beautify Baton Rouge with the state’s coastal authority.

downtown baton rouge.jpg
Aubry Procell
/
WRKF
A view of Downtown Baton Rouge from the top of the State Capitol on Nov. 12, 2021.

Can't do Friday? Meet the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's staff at 150 Terrace Ave. to pick up litter around Baton Rouge at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 23. The event will run to 10 a.m.

6. Find other clean-ups (or organize your own!) on Keep Louisiana Beautiful's Love The Boot site.

Love the Boot Week
Keep Louisiana Beautiful

Maybe none of these options float your boat — that's OK. Keep Louisiana Beautiful's Love The Boot website has dozens of events available to volunteer for through Sunday, April 24. Check out their list here.

If you can't make any of those, it's always a good time to walk around your neighborhood or community to pick up some trash and show some love to the Earth, holiday or not.

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