Pastorek Habitats, LLC has been awarded a contract to collect wetland prairie species seed for two 100+ acre wetland banking properties in Cameron Parish. This is something I have been interested in for many years, working with Coastal Prairie (Cajun Prairie) wetland species. So, lately I have been in my shrimp boots(Hackberry Nikes) sloshing in sweltering ditches and bogs for six or eight hours a day, hand-gathering and then drying and processing the crops that are in season. …enjoying every minute of it.
The restorations will provide wetland functions and values to the land. These include:
- Restoring bottomland hardwood and coastal prairie/freshwater marsh wetlands
- Increasing the quality of habitat for native and Nearctic-Neotropical speices
- Increasing watershed water quality by retiring existing agricultural land from agronomic and livestock production
The restoration will be accomplished with the following:
- Long-term protection with a perpetual conservation servitude
- Establishment of maintenance and protection funds in perpetuity
Pretty cool, huh?!
Most all of my restoration work until this project has been in upland prairie species. This opportunity not only adds an element of new car smell, it also gives me the opportunity to learn a whole list of species that I have for the most part been overlooking all these years simply because the focus was up-out of the bogs and ditches, so to speak: on the higher ground. I couldn’t be doing the work without expert taxonomists who are on board to help identify what it is that I can’t. Plant geeks rock!!!!! What’s particularly exciting for us is that these two projects have lead to another consulting opportunity.
None of this could have been made possible but for the knowledge I have gained hanging out with some of the most interesting and knowledgeable folks in the industry, ecologists across this great nation, but especially my local prairie mentors and fellow Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society members, Dr. Charles M. Allen, Malcom F. Vidrine, Larry Allain, and a bunch of other regionally local folks who have spent many-a-day focused on restoring the prairies of Louisiana and Texas. You know who you are. Also, credit is due to the love of my life and partner-in-(ecological)crime, Candi Pastorek, the brains of the business.
This type of landscape construction and management provides an insurance policy of sorts for wildlife, for the future sustainability of species that are increasingly under pressure due to human activity(humans: we ain’t no good 😦 ). It also provides prototype models, mock-ups, that either prove or disprove different techniques for seed collecting, planting and managing the different variations of prairie and marsh habitat in our coastal environment. We at PH are doing our part to insure that future generations get to enjoy and appreciate the wealth of biodiversity that we have in our lifetime.
above: last Sunday’s photo of the Marc Pastorek family, with five of the (currently) nine grandkids (if you include Monty the wonder-granddog). My two son’s brides(pictured on the couch), are due with an additional boy each, at the end of the year. Go team Pastorek!