CRCL Leads the Largest One-Day Volunteer Restoration Effort to Commemorate Hurricane Rita

By Jimmy Frederick, Communications Director, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Ten years ago the beaches of Cameron Parish were under 15 feet of Gulf of Mexico water as Hurricane Rita slammed ashore. Rita was the second major hurricane to hit Coastal Louisiana in less than a month in 2005 and was, in fact, stronger than Hurricane Katrina when it made landfall. The storm surge inundated coastal communities as far inland as Lake Charles and left thousands of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed. The shoreline of Cameron Parish took a direct hit and was virtually washed away by the fury that was unleashed by Hurricane Rita. But 10 years later, it’s not a story of destruction or devastation it’s a story of hope and recovery and that’s evident by the fact that so many people gave of their time and effort to continue the recovery of the Cameron Shoreline.

On Saturday, September 26, 2015, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) led more than 330 volunteers in planting 60,000 plugs of dune grass and repairing two miles of sand fence. The dune grass acts like a net both above and below the sand. Above the beach, the grass catches blowing sand helping to form the dunes. Below the sand, the roots help hold the sand, silt and soil in place to prevent erosion.

action planing

Two ladies planting in pink

Group Shot Rita 2

T Bradley Sand fence

But, coastal restoration is more than a one day event. As important as this restoration effort was, more must be done. We are losing our rich, productive wetlands and beaches, and the protection they provide. In Southwest Louisiana, the Cameron Shoreline is all that stands between vital coastal communities and the Gulf of Mexico. It is the only natural buffer that protects our livelihoods and our culture from hurricanes and other storms.

Want to get involved? To join CRCL for an upcoming restoration project or to become a member, visit

You can also show your support for coastal restoration by taking the pledge to urge leaders to be a powerful voice for coastal restoration. Take the pledge at

Help save our coast! The future of our state depends on it!