About 45 reporters in New Orleans for the Society of Environmental Journalists conference toured Southeastern Louisiana University’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station during a field trip.

The reporters and editors from throughout the nation toured the center, located on Pass Manchac, Thursday as part of the conference’s Louisiana’s Great Lakes, Cypress Swamps and Woodpeckers field trip. The tour also includes a visit to the Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge.

“We’re pleased to be on the schedule for this influential group of journalists, so that we can help explain some of the environmental impacts on coastal wetland loss in our region,” Turtle Cove Director Rob Moreau said prior to the tour. “We will also outline what some of our own researchers and graduate students are doing regarding wetland ecology and restoration and what we do from an educational outreach perspective.”

The journalists toured the Turtle Cove complex, which has been fully restored following Hurricane Katrina, and walked the boardwalk behind the station with its signs identifying 55 different species of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, fish and vegetation that inhabit the Manchac wetlands. On the pontoon boat rides to and from the station, Moreau discussed the environmental history of the area, including the socio-economic, cultural and natural history.

Owned and operated by Southeastern, Turtle Cove plays a valuable role as a center of research for Southeastern faculty and graduate students, as well as those from other colleges and universities. The center also maintains an important outreach program, providing educational tours and experiences for area schools.

For information on Turtle Cove, visit the website southeastern.edu/turtlecove.