Members of the Louisiana 4-H Wetland Ambassadors Team act as ambassadors for wetlands while developing professional and leadership skills and learning about the environmental, economic and cultural value of Louisiana’s wetlands.
One of the inaugural ambassadors, Garrett Gauthier, of Moreauville, continues to serve as a wetland ambassador for the 2020-21 year. A senior at Louisiana School for the Agricultural Sciences, Gauthier lives and works on his family’s farm. His love for plants constantly leads to him learning about different plants whether they are on land or in the water.
Gauthier relishes the opportunity to educate others on the importance of wetlands to Louisiana.
“We help people understand what a wetland is and that they are not useless,” Gauthier said. “They protect our coastal region from severe damage, such as erosion and hurricanes. They are also natural habitat for many beneficial animals, plants and insects.”
Recently, Garrett reflected on being a member of the Wetland Ambassadors Team.
A: One of the things I liked was my virtual outreach video for Earth Day called “The Nature Walk: Louisiana’s Wetland Plants.” This allowed me to teach and share my knowledge of different wetland plants, both native and invasive species, that grow in Louisiana. This also helped me share the passion I have for the great outdoors.
A: I thought I knew a lot about the wetlands. Well, come to find out I hardly knew anything. I always knew wetlands were important but never really appreciated how valuable they are to our ecosystem. Being an ambassador taught me how important wetlands are to Louisiana. My perspective on life has also changed because of all the amazing things I have learned through the team. The Wetland Ambassadors has also improved my public speaking by not only showing me how to speak in front of large crowds but by giving me the opportunity to speak publicly.
A: My love for the outdoors has only grown, and I wish to continue to preserve my love by continuing to donate to the wetlands and to volunteer my time to restore, preserve and spread awareness about our decreasing wetlands.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture