As a student at Harry Hurst Middle School in Destrehan, Savannah Sadaiappen was one of hundreds of pupils assigned to take a science class with Barry Guilliot.

She also became one of the hundreds of students to join the Wetlands Watchers, who learn about the wetlands surrounding St. Charles Parish and the desperate efforts to save them from coastal erosion.

But it wasn’t until her senior year at Destrehan High School that Sadaiappen became an activist.

As part of her senior project at Destrehan, Sadaiappen designed, made and sold T-shirts to help raise awareness for environmental protection in Louisiana. The shirts, which are $10 each, feature a pair of drawings by fellow Destrehan student Cole Grishop. On the front is an image of Earth with the words, “There is no Planet B.” On the back is a drawing of Louisiana depicting the land in green and the encroaching Gulf of Mexico in blue.

“I’ve been interested in saving the wetlands since I took Mr. Guilliot’s class,” Sadaiappen said. “I mean, we live so close and, in a couple of years they could be gone. I’m doing this project because I feel that it’s important that people become aware about the degradation of our environment so they can take action to help preserve it. I hope to communicate with the public how important our environment is, especially the wetlands, since they are our home.”

Sadaiappen said she has almost sold out of her initial order of 50 shirts. Anyone interested in purchasing a shirt may call (504) 327-0659 or email All funds raised will go the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, which will use the money for a project of its choosing.

All senior students at in St. Charles Parish are required to complete a multifaceted project to exhibit their skills, knowledge, creativity and talents. Students must present their completed projects to a panel of community members as part of their final exam.

Thanks for reading

This is the last of my weekly columns for The Advocate. After three years freelancing for The Advocate sports department and the Crescent City weekly, I have taken a full time job as Sports Editor of L’Observateur in LaPlace. I have enjoyed telling River Parishes’ stories over the past year, and I hope I have kept the community informed about interesting events.

Please continue to send your news, your events and your photos to And thanks for reading.