Norco resident recognized with ‘Spirit of the Wetlands’ Award

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009

NORCO – Milton Cambre was recently awarded the first annual “Spirit of the Wetlands” award. Cambre has been an advocate of conserving and restoring the LaBranche Wetlands for over 40 years. He recognized early on how important the wetland area is to our community and has backed up his beliefs with action.

Cambre worked with the local industry and government to rebuild and protect acres of wetlands along the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline. He never turns down a chance to mentor young people in various environmental projects. He often takes photographers, educators and other interested visitors on tours throughout the area sharing his years of knowledge of how things used to be and his hope of how things can be.

Most recently, Cambre has spent countless hours working with the St. Charles Parish Recreation Department and the Sheriff’s Office building a wooden boardwalk nature trail at Wetland Watchers Park. “Some people my age ride bikes or walk to stay active” laughs the 74 years-old Cambre, “I keep in shape by building nature trails.”

Most importantly he has served as a role model for thousands of students through the Wetland Watchers Service-Learning Project. The Hurst Middle Wetland Watchers Service-Learning Project and the St. Charles Parish Schools Satellite Center are teaming up to sponsor the “Milton L. Cambre Spirit of the Wetlands” award that annually recognizes people in the region that go above and beyond volunteering for the improvement of the community and the environment.

“I often tell people that Mr. Milton is the spirit of the Wetland Watchers Project,” said Hurst teacher Barry Guillot who created the Wetland Watchers Project 12 years ago, “Mr. Milton is the spirit of wetland conservation and a model of environmental volunteerism. Mr. Milton is my hero and I cannot think of anyone more deserving to have an environmental award named in their honor.”

Guidelines and a nomination form for the 2010 Milton L Cambre Spirit of the Wetlands award will be released in August 2010 and will be presented at the Wetlands Reveillon in December 2010.