Back to the Beach: Weeks Cleans Up Restored Beach at Elmer’s Island
In September, Weeks Marine joined a group of a hundred volunteers with a common goal of cleaning up the beach at Elmer’s Island. The event was organized by Nicholls State University, the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
To most that attended, this was a way to enhance a public beach that is a popular spot for fishing, bird watching and enjoying nature.
For the Weeks team, however, this was an opportunity to return to a beach that we helped restore and experience firsthand how vital the coastal restoration work we do is to our communities and ecosystems.
The work at Elmer’s Island was part of the Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration Project, one of the largest single ecosystem restoration projects undertaken by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). Each year, large expanses of shoreline are lost along the Louisiana coast due to storm overtopping and breaching, saltwater intrusion, erosion, subsidence and sea level rise. Some of the highest rates of retreat occur at Caminada Headland, where the average loss is 35 feet per year according to the CPRA.
Weeks dredged millions of yards of sand from a borrow area onto the beach at Caminada Headland, where it was used to restore the beach and dunes. The project helped to recreate 13 miles of coastline in Lafourche Parish and restore critical habitat for wildlife such as migratory and nesting shorebirds. In addition, it helped to bolster the first line of defense in protecting the communities living to the north from storms and coastal flooding.
The Beach Cleanup at Elmer’s Island embodies the goals and values of our Sustainability Program and more specifically, the Sustainable Community initiative. It gave our employees a chance to get involved and engage with the community while cleaning up habitat for wildlife.
“The International Coastal Cleanup at Elmer’s Island provided our team the opportunity to come together with community members from across the area to bring awareness of increasing pollution on our beaches and take action to make our environment healthier,” said Baily Dardar, Wear Parts Manager at Weeks Marine. “It’s important we work together to prevent littering and motivate others to take responsibility in keeping our beaches clean.”
Collectively, 1,374 pounds of trash was collected by 103 total event volunteers, including members of the Weeks team. The most common item found on the beach was plastic bottle caps, with 911 collected.
As the program continues to grow, we look forward to more opportunities that promote our values and give us a chance to experience the benefits of our work.
Click here to learn more about Weeks Marine’s Sustainability Program.