Outdoor Life Online Editor

The Red Cross, the National Guard and others are all doing their part to help the Gulf Coast rebuild. That’s not to say that conservation specialists are sitting idly by, hoping that the fragile wetlands around New Orleans will rebuild themselves.

To date, 14 states have sent members of their fish and wildlife patrol to Louisiana. The duties have varied from search and rescue missions, to levee work to habitat assessment. Michigan, alone, dispatched 50 officers to help the area recover.

Along with manpower, conservation organizations have been quick to offer monetary support. Ducks Unlimited pledged $15 million to rehabilitate wetlands in the New Orleans region.

Despite the generosity, some conservationists quickly criticized the levee system along the Mississippi River that bottlenecks water flow, leading to massive erosion. Some estimate that Louisiana has already lost a third of its wetlands in the last 100 years.