Category Archives: Consumer Education

Coalition Members

Steering Members


Atchafalaya Basinkeeper
(225) 659-2499

Baton Rouge Audubon Society
(225) 767-9074

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
(225) 767-4181

Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club
(985) 871-6695

Gulf Restoration Network
(504) 525-1528

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
(504) 836-2215

Louisiana Audubon Council
(504) 861-8465

Louisiana Cypress Purchase Legacy
(504) 891-7116

Louisiana Environmental ActionNetwork
(225) 928-1315

Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper
(225) 928-1315

Waterkeeper Alliance
Irvington, New York

Francisco Ollervides
Irvington, New York

Central Louisiana Audubon Society
Pineville, Louisiana

ECO at Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Hunters for Hardwoods
Pineville, Louisiana

Louisiana Audubon Council
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Lake Charles, Louisiana

The Alliance for Affordable Energy
New Orleans, Louisiana

Louisiana Purchase Cypress Legacy

New Orleans, LA

1000 Friends of Florida
Tallahassee, FL

Bayou Preservation Association
Houston, TX

Friends of Bell Smith Springs
Stonefort, Illinois

Advocates for Environmental Human

New Orleans, LA

American Littoral Society, SE Chapter
Sarasota, FL

Louisiana ACORN

New Orleans, LA

Association of Family Fishermen
Barataria, LA

Galveston Bay Foundation
Webster, TX

Alligator Bayou Tours/Spanish Lake
Wildlife Refuge and Botanical Gardens, Inc.

Prairieville, LA

Ship Island Excursions
Biloxi, MS

Dogwood Alliance

Asheville, NC

Raise Awareness New Orleans
New Orleans, LA

Chicagoan for Environmental
Chicago, IL

Loyola University Community Action Program
New Orleans, LA

Loyola University Environmental Action
New Orleans, LA

Informed Choices
Slidell, LA

Rainforest Action Network
San Francisco, CA

Bayona Restaurant
New Orleans, LA

BLAST and CAST Guide Service
Corpus Christi, TX

Attakapas Adventures
Napoleonville, LA

Environment Florida
Tallahassee, FL

Central Florida Sierra Club
Orlando, FL

Environment Matters Consulting
Tampa, FL

Community Stepping Stones
Tampa, FL

Tampa Bay Conservancy
Tampa, FL

Clearwater Audubon Society
Clearwater, FL

Friends of the River
Tampa, FL

Manatee/Sarasota Sierra Club
Sarasota, FL

Alliance for a Livable Pinellas
St. Petersburg, FL

St. Pete Audubon Society
St. Petersburg, FL

Putnam County Environmental Council
Palatka, FL

Polk Sierra Club
Lakeland, FL

Florida Wildlife Federation
Tallahassee, FL

Healthy Gulf Coalition
Sarasota, FL

Citizens for Sanity
Land O’Lakes, FL

Hernando Audubon Society
Brooksville, FL

Suncoast Sierra Club
St. Petersburg, FL

Friends of the Fenholloway River
Perry, FL

Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club
Tallahassee, FL

HOPE for Taylor County, Inc.
Perry, FL

Environmental Alliance of North Florida
Perry, FL

Hernando Native Plant Society
Brooksville, FL

Save Our Wetlands Coalition
Gainesville, FL

Tampa Bay Sierra Club
Tampa, FL

Gulf Coast Conservancy
Aripeka, FL

Help Save the Appalachicola River Group
Ajppalachicola, Florida

Clean Water Network of Florida
Tallahassee, FL

National Environmental Trust

Washington, DC

Keep Hillsborough Beautiful
Tampa, FL

Pinellas Native Plant Society
St. Petersburg, FL

Florida Defenders of the Environment
Gainesville, FL

Forest Watch
Richmond, VT

Georgia River Network
Athens, GA

RESTORE: The North Woods
Hallowell, ME

de la Houssaye’s Swamp Tours
Bayou Teche, LA

The Atchafalaya Experience
Lafayette, LA

Blue Dog Bait, Inc.
Slidell, LA

Regional Association of Concerned Environmentalists

Kentucky/Southern Illinois

Jackson Purchase Audubon
Paducah, KY

Seattle Audubon
Seattle, WA
A Cajun Man’s Swamp Cruise, Inc.
Houma, LA

Friends of Living Oregon Waters (FLOW)
Grants Pass, OR

League of Women Voters of St. Tammany
Covington, LA

Lake Maurepas Society
Hammond, LA

Advocates for Smart Growth
Covington, LA

Bayou Liberty Association
Slidell, LA

Aria Salon Spa Shoppe
Alpharetta, GA

Old Harbor Outfitters
Block Island, RI

Tampa Audubon Society

Hernando Environmental Land Protectors
Weeki Wachee, FL

Oyster Reef Designs, Inc.
Ruskin, FL

Crystal River, FL

Wildlaw Florida Office
Tallahassee, FL

Avant Salons ans Spa
Austin, TX

Hammond, LA

Rock the Earth  


If you would like to be added to our list please fill out this form and fax it to 508-590-0359.

Why are cypress forests so important?

Bald Eagle on Cypress Tree

Bald Eagle on Cypress Tree

Cypress forests are heralded by scientists to be some of the Gulf’s best natural storm and flooding protection. The swamps also support a wide array of wildlife including fish and crustaceans, migratory birds, and threatened and endangered species like the Bald Eagle and Florida Panther. The swamps are of national importance to protect the economy, the unique environment of the Gulf Coast, and people.

Vist our cypress mulch FAQ page to get the answers to commonly asked questions.  

About Us

The Save Our Cypress Coalition is comprised of over 160 conservation groups, religious organizations, businesses, gardening clubs, and civic organizations.

In Louisiana, the steering committee is comprised of the Atchafalaya
Basinkeeper, Baton Rouge Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal
Louisiana, Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club, Gulf Restoration Network,
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Louisiana Audubon Council,
Louisiana Cypress Purchase Legacy, Louisiana Environmental Action
Network, and the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper.

Louisiana Steering Committee




Sustainable Alternatives to Cypress Mulch

Recycled Yard Waste

Recycled Yard Waste


Recycled Yard Waste

check-mark.gifReadily available
check-mark.gifStays in place well

Free and easily available! Don’t throw away those yard clippings and then go
buy mulch at the store. Some of the best mulch out there is right in
your backyard, you just have to collect it.

Leaves make great mulch




check-mark.gifReadily available
check-mark.gifNaturally Attractive

Often overlooked, leaves are not only readily available and a renewable resource they happen to be nature’s original mulch. Instead of piling those leaves in bags by the curb use them for mulch.

Pine Straw Mulch

Pine Straw Mulch


Pine Straw

check-mark.gifStays in place well
check-mark.gifVery attractive

You can rake pine
needles from your yard, or buy them at a store after they’ve been raked
up from the floor of a pine plantation.

Pine Bark Mulch

Pine Bark Mulch


Pine Bark Mulch

check-mark.gifLasts a long time
check-mark.gifComes in nuggets or shredded form
check-mark.gifBy-product of timber milling

Pine bark is made from the scraps of
trees that are turned into lumber, turning a waste product in a
beneficial mulch.

Eucalyptus Mulch

Eucalyptus Mulch


Eucalyptus Mulch

check-mark.gifFarmed for mulch
check-mark.gifVery aromatic
check-mark.gifInsect resistant
check-mark.gifLooks similar to

If it’s the aesthetics of cypress you like, this is your
substitute! Plus, it helps keeps bugs and weeds away very well.



creative choices include: sugarcane bagasse, recycled pecan shells,
coconut husks, gravel and rocks, recycled newspapers, and many more!

Coalition Members

Atchafalaya Basinkeeper
Baton Rouge Audubon Society
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club
Gulf Restoration Network
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
Louisiana Audubon Council
Louisiana Cypress Purchase Legacy
Louisiana Environmental ActionNetwork
Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper

How to properly mulch a tree.


Why place mulch around a tree?

The purpose of mulch is to retain moisture to get your trees through
dry weather. Mulching the root zone insulates the roots from excessive
heat and cold. It also prevents the tree from exiting or entering
seasonal dormancy to soon. Of course it also looks nice and over time
will add nutrients to the soil.

Adding a large circle of mulch around the base of the tree creates a
safe zone that will help prevent damage from lawn mowers and other
power equipment like string trimmers. It also discourages foot traffic
which compacts the soil. Lastly, by not having grass below the tree the
roots have less competition for water and nutrients which makes for a
happier and healthier tree.




Recycled Yard Waste


What kind of mulch should I use?

The simple answer is most anything that is organic. Yard waste such as
clippings, leaves or needles from shrubs or smaller plants is
preferable. You can, of course, use the leaves from the tree just as
nature intended. If you prefer to spend money on mulch use something sustainable.

Obviously, don’t use cypress mulch!


Volcano Mulch


Improper mulching techniques.

Volcano mulching -  While mountains are a thing of beauty, mulch mountains have no place in your yard. The purpose of mulch is to protect the root system of the tree, not the trunk. Mulch against the trunk will retain excessive moisture which can rot the bark and lead to disease.

Too much mulch will also prevent water from getting to the root system. 

Properly Mulched Tree

Properly Mulched Tree


Proper mulching techniques.

To properly mulch the root system lay a 3-4” thick layer of mulch around the circumference of the tree. Spread it out evenly with a rake. Remember, deeper is not better. Too deep and it can lead to rot or prevent moisture from reaching the root system.

Plan on using about 6 cubic feet of mulch (3 bags) for a medium sized tree. The mulch should cover as much area as possible to protect the roots. A circle with a 36”- 48” radius out from the tree is a safe bet and will look the most natural. Don’t forget to keep the mulch a couple of inches away from the trunk to prevent rot.

Cypress Forests – Threatened Now More Than Ever



Coastal Cypress Forest

Coastal Cypress Forest

Though Louisiana and the rest of the gulf coast wetlands face serious threats from coastal land loss and development, widespread clear cutting of cypress forests is also a very imminent danger.

In the past cypress mulch used to be a by-product of lumber mills. This is no longer true. The mulch purchased today comes from wide spread clear cutting of entire eco systems.

Loggers are operating with little to no oversight. No state laws exist to protect Louisiana’s state tree; some that are more than 1,000 years old.

A mixed message: State and Federal Officials are asking our nation for billions of dollars to restore Louisiana’s coast. However, it’s not clear whether our cypress forests, which help to combat coastal erosion, are adequately protected from logging under current state and federal laws.



Though many areas that were logged in the early 1900s have regenerated, local scientists believe that many of Louisiana’s coastal cypress forests would not grow back if they are now cut.

{xtypo_rounded2}Science Working Group

In 2004 The Louisiana Governor commissioned a Science Working Group (SWG) to assess the state’s coastal forests and to identify what is necessary to sustain their long-term health and usefulness. The SWG’s final report (April 2005) can be viewed at

The SWG report confirms what has been long suspected: Up to 80 percent of the areas being logged will be unable to regenerate.
This is due to changes in elevation and water flow over the past century, many cypress forests are permanently flooded and can’t regenerate.

Whole trees being mulched

Whole Cypress Trees Being Chipped

Logging of cypress should only be allowed in areas that scientists and certified foresters find are sustainable and that can regenerate.

State policies must be developed to discourage timber cutting in areas that are unlikely to regenerate.

Incentives must be created for private landowners who own cypress forest. Options may include conservation easements, tax-deductible donations to a land trust, or the transfer of timber rights.




In 1963, the cypress tree was named Louisiana’s state tree. Cypress forests provide tremendous environmental, cultural, recreational, and economic value to our state.

  1. Protect coastal communities by buffering against hurricanes and absorbing storm surges and flood waters
  2. Naturally filter pollutants and excess nutrients before they contaminate swimming and fishing areas
  3. Support our economy through tourism and recreation (i.e. swamp tours, boating, camping, fishing, photography)
  4. Provide critical habitat for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species such as the Louisiana black bear, the bald eagle, and the recently rediscovered ivory-billed woodpecker
  5. Sustain freshwater and coastal fisheries
  6. Minimize the impacts of global warming

Options for Landowners


A number of organizations can work with Louisiana landowners to
develop other options besides logging of cypress swamps. These options
may include purchase of title, conservation easements, or donation for
tax benefits.


American Land Conservancy
Mississippi River Office
Route 1, P.O. Box 600C
Marble Hill, MO 63764
Phone: 573-866-9989


Conservation Fund
895 Park Avenue
Mandeville, LA 70448
Phone: 571-212-7985


The Nature Conservancy
P.O. Box 4125
Baton Rouge, La. 70821
Phone: 225-338-1040
Fax: 225-338-0103


Trust for Public Land
New Orleans Office
1137 Baronne Street
New Orleans, LA 70113
Phone: 504-620-5142
Fax: 504-620-5150


Baton Rouge Audubon Society
PO Box 82525
Baton Rouge, LA 70884-2525


The Land Trust for Southeast Louisiana
P.O. Box 1636
Hammond, LA 70404
Phone: (504) 628-5245


Louisiana Audubon Council
Barry Kohl, Conservation Chair
Phone: 504-861-8465


Orleans Audubon Society
801 Rue Dauphine St., #304
Metairie, La 70005-4608