4,000 Bags of Gulf-Saving Goodness

Our Timberland service sabbatical recipients, Alan and Heather, are several days in to their week-long Louisiana bayou immersion.  The two have been hard at work, but took time out to share the following update and incredible photos with us:

It has been a blast living and working with the 27 teammates of the 4th annual In Good Company partnership event.

We are spending much of this week working with the Restore the Earth Foundation, an incredible nonprofit focused on environmental conservation, protection and restoration.  One of Restore the Earth’s initiatives is called Gulf Saver Solutions, and it entails “deploying” Gulf Saver bags — full of native marsh grasses and oil-eating micro-organisms which help to protect and restore natural wetland ecosystems and habitats.  This week, our team has been working on filling, moving, staking and planting 4,000 Gulf Saver bags.  Ours is the largest deployment to date!

Alan and team celebrate filling their Gulf Saver bags.

Heather (on left) and other volunteers "planting" the Gulf Saver bags.

Inside the Gulf Saver bags, we also plant black mangrove trees.  The mangroves not only prevent land erosion, but also provide nesting grounds for the threatened brown pelican.

Mangrove planting

Tracy the barge driver

The gentleman above is Tracy.  He was the driver of the barge we used to transport and offload our materials from the much larger ship that carried the 42 pallets containing the 4000 bags to the site.  He is a local who has lived, fished and worked in these coastal waters his entire life, and like many, assumed that the eroding landscape was a force of man and nature that could not be avoided.  The work being done by Restore the Earth has changed his mind:

“I helped deliver these bags to the first 2 sites and honestly thought this was a waste of time, that the plants and soil would just wash away.  After revisiting the sites a few weeks ago, I am amazed and now see that this is going to work.”

Seeing really is believing.  Here’s an aerial view of one of the Gulf Saver bag sites just 2 weeks after the bags were deployed, and then again about 5 months later.  The progress is amazing!

Of course, our week is not all work and no play.  Tomorrow we’ll share a video one of our In Good Company colleagues put together of our “day off” adventures.  It’s been a great week and an incredible experience so far.

  • http://blog.timberland.com/corporate-social-responsibility/even-gulf-savers-need-a-day-of-rest/ Even Gulf Savers Need a Day of Rest

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