- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - Florida-based artists Marlin Miller is back on the Mississippi Coast to shore up three dozen sculptures he carved out of trees killed by Hurricane Katrina.

“We’re going to make them look good,” Miller said. “I think they have a lot more years of life in them,” Miller said Thursday.

The workers include Miller, his son, city of Biloxi crews and a team of volunteers from Hands On Mississippi.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1NlxQXu ) that volunteers will work on the base of the sculptures, surrounding them with a protective layer and filling it in with concrete to protect the bottoms of the trees. Miller and his son will work on the sculptures themselves. City crews will spray varnish after they complete their work.

About a year after Katrina, Biloxi paid artist Dayton Scoggins to craft figures out of oak trees damaged in the storm.

In 2007, Miller volunteered to do a few sculptures as a gift. What began as a few quickly turned into a multi-year project.

“We came to leave a mark and didn’t realize the impact it would have,” Miller said.

But after almost a decade some of the trees are in bad shape. Miller acknowledged many wouldn’t last forever but said the efforts this weekend would help keep them standing as a testament to the coast’s resilience.

The project is being funded by Oscar Renda Contracting, S.J. Lewis Construction and Treasure Bay Casino Resort.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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