A leading Louisiana export is joining the effort to fight coastal erosion, and asking consumers around the world to help save the wetlands.
The makers of Tabasco hot sauce are putting a message on their boxes to stir interest and possibly donations for helping the America’s Wetland Foundation preserve the coast. Paul McIlhenny runs the company on Avery Island in the marshland south of New Iberia. The company has spent millions building levees around its land and factory for protection against stronger storms with higher surges.
“My family, for 195 years, we’ve been worried about our surrounding marshland, and have been preserving it and protecting it for years. So I’m one of nine generations of Averys and McInhenneys that have pursued this as a serious endeavor.”
McIhenny says the packaging with the America’s Wetland Foundation information will be sent to more than two dozen English-speaking countries, as well as across the United States.
Foundation managing director Val Marmillion says he expects the message will generate a surge of support for coastal restoration projects.
“This bottle will be circulated millions of times with this packaging. And when this happens it will up our web traffic considerably. And our donations will come in that actually go directly to conservation programs. This is one of our efforts that we use the funds directly for in-the-ground planting programs.”
The foundation has been holding forums throughout the Gulf Coast on plans to combat coast erosion. Its final meeting will be at the end of May in New Orleans.