500+ trees donated to Fifth Ward Elementary to enhance coastal wetlands

Published 3:53 pm Thursday, March 17, 2022

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RESERVE– On Monday, March 15, Marathon’s Garyville Refinery and Pontchartrain Conservancy — a leader in coastal sustainability, water quality and environmental education — delivered over 500 trees to Fifth Ward Elementary School in Reserve. Students at the school will plant trees in the school’s nursery, growing them until they are ready to be transferred to the wetlands of St. John the Baptist Parish. The trees will then be used to restore the wetlands to help protect the community by serving as a natural storm buffer.

Funding for the coastal restoration tree nursery comes from a $25,000 grant awarded to Pontchartrain Conservancy from Marathon Petroleum Company, one of Pontchartrain Conservancy’s swamp restoration program partners, to help restore Louisiana’s coast after Hurricane Ida’s destruction.

“Our recent efforts are centered on strengthening our community, where we work and live,” said Marathon Petroleum’s Vice President of Refining Michael Henschen. “Our partnership with the Pontchartrain Conservancy not only helps further local education related to coastal erosion mitigation work, but will tangibly help restore wetlands impacted by Ida, helping to protect our coastline and our community as we continue to recover together.”

“We are excited to work with the students at Fifth Ward Elementary on this tree nursery to not only help restore the wetlands, but to also teach them about the importance of wetlands for not only their area, but all of south Louisiana,” said Kristi Trail, executive director of Pontchartrain Conservancy. “Pontchartrain Conservancy is thankful for our partnership with Marathon for their support with this project. Together, we can save our coast!”


The Garyville refinery is located along the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It employees approximately 900 full-time employees and has a crude oil refining capacity of 578,000 barrels per calendar day (bpcd). It is configured to process a wide variety of crude oils into gasoline, distillates, fuel-grade coke, asphalt, polymer-grade propylene, propane, refinery-grade propylene, dry gas, slurry and sulfur. Products at the refinery are transported by pipeline, barge, transport truck, rail and ocean tanker. The refinery has access to the export market and multiple options to sell refined products. A major expansion project was completed in 2009 that increased Garyville’s crude oil refining capacity, making it one of the largest refineries in the U.S.

 Pontchartrain Conservancy is a New Orleans-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to an environmentally sustainable, prosperous and resilient region. Our mission is to drive environmental sustainability and stewardship through scientific research, education and advocacy. Pontchartrain Conservancy consists of a board of directors representing Lake Pontchartrain Basin parishes and regulatory agencies. For more information or to get involved, visit www.scienceforourcoast.org. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @PontchartrainConservancy and on Twitter at @OurBasin