Wetlands award named for Cambre

Honored for saving LaBranche for over 40 years

Milton Cambre was recently named the first recipient of the “Spirit of the Wetlands” award. Cambre, 74, has been an advocate of conserving and restoring the LaBranche Wetlands for over 40 years.

The Hurst Middle School Wetland Watchers Service-Learning Project and the St. Charles Parish Schools Satellite Center are now teaming up to sponsor the “Milton L. Cambre Spirit of the Wetlands Award” that will annually recognize people in the region that go above and beyond volunteering for the improvement of the community and the environment.

“We decided to give an award to Milton for his tireless work to reclaim the wetlands at LaBranche. As we were talking about the award, we thought that it would be nice to recognize someone annually for their dedication to the park and area in general,” said Satellite Center facilitator Craig Howat. “This is when we decided to name the award for him and create an annual award.”

Cambre recognized early on how important the wetland area is to the community and has backed up his beliefs with action. Cambre worked with local industry and the government to rebuild and protect acres of wetlands along the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline.

Howat said that Cambre never turns down a chance to mentor young people in various environmental projects and he often takes photographers, educators and other interested visitors on tours throughout the area sharing his years of knowledge of how things used to be and his hope of how things can be.
Most recently, Cambre has spent countless hours working with the St. Charles Parish Recreation Department and the Sheriff’s Office to build a wooden boardwalk nature trail at Wetland Watchers Park.

“Some people my age ride bikes or walk to stay active,” laughs Cambre. “I keep in shape by building nature trails.”
He has also served as a role model for thousands of students through the Wetland Watchers Service-Learning Project.
“I often tell people that Mr. Milton is the spirit of the Wetland Watchers Project,” said Hurst teacher Barry Guillot, who created the Wetland Watchers Project 12 years ago. “Mr. Milton is the spirit of wetland conservation and a model of environmental volunteerism. Mr. Milton is my hero and I cannot think of anyone more deserving to have an environmental award named in their honor.”

Guidelines and a nomination form for the 2010 Milton L. Cambre Spirit of the Wetlands award will be released in August 2010 and will be presented at the Wetlands Reveillon in December 2010.


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