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Airlift of Christmas Trees Begins into Bayou Sauvage Refuge

Almost 8,000 repurposed Christmas trees will be used to help restore an eroding wildlife refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's annual "Christmas Tree Drop" into Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge will be conducted Thursday.

Officials say the trees will get a new life as breakwaters in refuge impoundments. They say the breakwaters slow wave and water movement, trap silt and encourage the growth of marsh grasses.

Organizers say the recycling project helps revitalize the wetland ecosystem which protects New Orleans during storm events, shelters native wildlife and provides migratory waterfowl habitat.

The trees are transported via helicopter and the project provides the Louisiana Army National Guard an opportunity to train its guardsmen. Last year, more than 8,000 trees were used in the restoration project.