The Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce recently donated life preservers to Southeastern Louisiana University’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station in remembrance of the upcoming 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a news release said.

“The Board of Directors wanted to give a tangible gift that would not only honor the memory of this terrible time, but would also symbolize the hope and determination which arose out of it,” Chamber Chairwoman Erin Cowser said.

The 48 life preservers, which must be worn by students and professors when conducting on-site research and work, will be worn by more than 2,000 educators, students and researchers in one year’s time, said Dr. Rob Moreau, manager of Turtle Cove.

Cowser said board members felt such a donation would be a fitting tribute to all the work and success achieved since Hurricane Katrina.

“Hopefully this will inspire others to follow suit and consider making a contribution to organizations such as Turtle Cove that are working on protection and restoration of our vital coastline,” she said. “We considered erecting a sculpture, a bench or birdbath, but this is much more gratifying.”

Turtle Cove, located between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain, hosts undergraduate and graduate-level university courses, professional research, community outreach programs, ecosystem tours, kindergarten through 12th grade field trips and teacher workshops. The station also participates in collaborative programs with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the University of New Orleans’ Coastal Education Research Facility.

Turtle Cove suffered severe damage during Katrina, but was restored after a seven-year process, Moreau said.

For more information about the Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, visit south eastern.edu/acad_research/ programs/turtle_cove.