Coastal marsh plants field day set for Oct. 28 at Rice Research Station

Bruce Schultz, Utomo, Herry S.  |  10/15/2009 12:27:09 AM

News Release Distributed 10/14/09

CROWLEY, La. – Coastal restoration using native marsh plants will be the focus of a field day at the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station Oct. 28.

The event will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.

“This gathering represents collaboration between the LSU AgCenter working with local, state and federal agencies joining forces to fight coastal erosion,” said Dr. David Boethel, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for research. “The only way this problem can be addressed is through a unified effort, and the AgCenter is proud to be part of this work.”

Dr. Herry Utomo, LSU AgCenter plant breeder, who has organized the field day, will conduct a tour on the station of his project to develop varieties of smooth cordgrass and California bulrush using conventional plant breeding techniques and DNA markers.

A virtual tour of the LSU AgCenter’s coastal plant development program will be conducted by Dr. Carrie Knott and Mike Materne of the LSU AgCenter School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences, and Utomo with Jeb Linscombe from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.

Other presentations will include:

– Garret Thomassie from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Material Center in Golden Meadow, who will outline the process of plant development.

– Dr. Andy Nyman, of the LSU AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources, who will discuss how to map factors that limit growth of coastal wetland vegetation.

– Steve Carmichael, state resource conservationist, and Morris Houck, plant specialist, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, who will discuss coastal restoration and conservation in Louisiana.

– Jerome “Zee” Zeringue, director of planning and programs for the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities, who will give an overview of coastal planning.

– Dr. Marc Cohn, of the LSU AgCenter Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, who will talk about the physiological and molecular characteristics of smooth cordgrass seed.

– Dr. Niranjan Baisakh and Dr. Prasanta Subudhi, of the LSU AgCenter School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences, who will provide details about the gene and DNA markers associated with salt tolerance in smooth cordgrass.

– Dr. Gregory Steyer, of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center, who will discuss wetlands ecosystem forecasting.

– Mark Shirley, LSU AgCenter fisheries agent, and Kevin Savoie, LSU AgCenter county agent in Calcasieu Parish, who will conduct a discussion of issues focusing on marsh restoration.

To register for the event, call the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station at 337-788-7531 or contact Utomo by e-mail at hutomo@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Bruce Schultz

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