Syngenta Crop Protection Corporation has donated $25,000 to the LSU AgCenter’s Coastal Plant Development Program to help in the recovery of marsh grasses that serve as Louisiana’s first line of defense against hurricanes.

David Boethel, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, said the donation from Syngenta is greatly appreciated and will help to enhance the coastal plants development program.

“Our scientists have been making some really good progress in developing plants and improving native plants to place along the coast to help restore land lost due to natural events such as hurricanes,” Boethel said. “And certainly with the coast being damaged by the oil spill, we want to develop some plants that we can put back into those areas to help replenish the lost vegetation.”

Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and director of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service said as the research is done and the information becomes available, the AgCenter agents have to get that information to the people who need it.

“Since it is hurricane season, we realize how important it is for us to make sure that the people who need information from the research are getting that information and in a timely manner,” Coreil said. “We really work hard to bring the plant materials research information to the landowners because we’re that link.”

Boethel said there will probably be some releases of new plants this fall that could have major effects in the coastal regions.

“We actually have three types of plants that are close to being released. They are some sea oat varieties, smooth cordgrass and bulrush,” he said.

Ralph Caddell, site manager for Syngenta’s St. Gabriel production facility, said the donation is to help protect Louisiana’s coastline and the long-term future and viability of the area.

“We have employees and family members here who enjoy fishing on the coast, and we realize how important it is to protect the coastline,” Caddell said. “We believe the right stewardship efforts can help prevent further damage and help speed up the recovery of the damage that’s already been done.”