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Community Outreach, General Information, Honors & Awards

Students Participating in LSU’s Coastal Roots Program Honored by America’s Wetland Foundation

04/17/2012 10:24 AM

BATON ROUGE – Students from two schools in the LSU College of Education’s Coastal Roots Program won five of the nine awards in America’s Wetland Foundation’s “Keep Your Eye on the Prize” contest in February.


The foundation holds a contest each year to teach students the importance of Louisiana's wetlands. Students submit artwork and photography depicting wetlands, or write an essay about the importance of wetland preservation.


Four students from Bishop Nolan Episcopal Day School, or EDS, in Lake Charles and one student from Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy, or PFTSTA, in Jefferson Parish won awards in the photography, art and essay categories.


Age group photography winners from EDS included 7-year-old Kaitlin Miller, who won for her picture of a sunset on Calcasieu River; 14-year-old Emily Hart, who won for her picture of a sunset and its reflection in the water; and 11-year-old Aniese Kattash, who won the photography section in his age group, as well as the overall photography category with a picture of animal tracks in the sand.


Nine-year-old Wesley Maze, also from EDS, won the art category for kindergarten to third grade with his depiction of a wetlands scene. His scene included turtles, trees and flying ducks.


Thirteen-year-old Alyssa Duffourc, a student at PFTSTA, claimed first prize in the essay contest for grades 8-12 with her essay, “A Single Dragonfly.”


Each winner received $5,000 toward new equipment and materials in his or her classroom and for funding of the school’s Coastal Roots nursery. The overall winner in each category received an additional $1,000. In total, the five students earned a combined $26,000 for their schools.


Both EDS and PFTSTA are active participants in the LSU Coastal Roots Program, which helps schools in south Louisiana to establish wetland plant nurseries on their campuses. Students in these schools grow native plant seedlings that they will plant in a coastal habitat restoration project in south Louisiana. There are 38 schools across 18 parishes currently participating in the LSU Coastal Roots Program.


Established in 2000, the LSU Coastal Roots Program aims to assist students in developing attitudes of stewardship toward natural resources and to provide active learning situations in which they can explore strategies for sustaining coastal ecosystems.  The Coastal Roots Program is a special project of the LSU College of Education’s Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice in partnership with the LSU School for Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences and the LSU AgCenter.


For more information about the LSU Coastal Roots Program, visit For more information about America’s Wetland Foundation, visit

LSU Media Relations