(03/16/21) BATON ROUGE, La. — Paul Coreil has fond memories of working in Louisiana’s wetlands as an extension specialist and teaching young people about the importance of protecting these areas. His passion for the outdoors and education guided him throughout his decades-long career with the LSU AgCenter, from which he retired in 2013 as vice chancellor for extension.
Now the chancellor of LSU Alexandria, Coreil and his wife Arlene recently donated $11,000 to an endowment that funds a program that has a special place in his heart: the 4-H Youth Wetlands Program. This donation brings the Dr. Paul and Arlene Coreil 4-H Youth Wetlands and Coastal Resources Fund, which was established in 2013, to a total value of $100,000.
“We think the world of this program,” Coreil said. “It’s all about the students.”
The Youth Wetlands Program teaches Louisiana youth in grades three to 12 about issues facing the state’s wetlands and coast as well as how they can be part of solutions. The program has recently expanded to offer its lessons and activities remotely through an online learning platform for educators and youth.
The Coreil endowment has been used to purchase supplies and to fund educational trips.
Coreil recalled working with AgCenter agent Mark Shirley years ago to launch the Marsh Maneuvers camp, which has become one of the wetlands program’s signature events. The camp gives youth the chance to spend time in the marsh learning about plants, wildlife, coastal protection efforts and more.
“Marsh Maneuvers is an immersive wetlands experience for youth that is unique in Louisiana,” said Brian Gautreau, coordinator of the Youth Wetlands Program. “Youth are able to spend a workweek in the marsh learning from and working alongside scientific and industry professionals as they develop an understanding of wetland environments, culture and protection efforts. A handful of youth are selected to participate in Advanced Marsh Maneuvers in the winter, where they are able to explore wetland and coastal topics in even more depth.”
Patrick Tuck, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, said that even after his retirement, Coreil has worked tirelessly in recent years to raise funds for wetlands education and other 4-H endeavors.
“Dr. Coreil served as a board member and collaborated with the Louisiana 4-H Foundation on annual Guns & Gumbo fundraising events,” Tuck said. “The Louisiana 4-H Foundation is thankful for the years of fundraising lead by Dr. Coreil that supported its own general fund and this LSU Foundation endowment.”
LSU Alexandria Chancellor Paul Coreil and his wife Arlene Coreil, center, present a check for $11,000 to Patrick Tuck, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation. Their donation will support the Louisiana 4-H Youth Wetlands Program. Others pictured include, from left, Tay Moore, vice president of Collegiate 4-H at LSU; Toby Lepley, AgCenter associate vice president; and Andy Schade, AgCenter development director. Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter