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Coastal Restoration Grows at Nicholls Thanks to Shell Grant

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Volunteers from Nicholls State University and Shell’s Louisiana offices pose next to harvested native beach grasses Wednesday, July 17, on the Nicholls Farm. The grasses were taken to Fourchon Beach the next day and planted on newly created dunes as part of a coastal restoration project sponsored by Shell.

THIBODAUX — With the help of a $40,000 coastal restoration grant from Shell, volunteers from Nicholls State University and Shell’s Louisiana offices harvested and planted thousands of native beach grasses on newly created dunes.

On Wednesday, July 16, more than 5,500 grasses were harvested from native beach and dune grass plots at the Nicholls Farm, a facility operated by the Nicholls Department of Biological Sciences to facilitate research and cultivate plants for coastal restoration. Those grasses were taken to Fourchon Beach the next day and planted by volunteers on newly created dunes. The beach provides important protection from storm flooding for businesses at Port Fourchon and the communities of lower Lafourche. The area has suffered severe erosion in recent years.

The project, which helped to restore the coastal environment and prevent erosion on the newly built dunes, was a cooperative effort between Nicholls and the Greater Lafourche Port Commission. Shell has supported coastal restoration efforts, research and native coastal plant production at Nicholls since 2010.

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