10 Cities Campaign: Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

Video produced in 2015 by Ashley Doucet, a student in the Department of Film and Theatre at the University of New Orleans, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “Wild Things” is an annual event put on by the Southeast Louisiana Refuge Complex.

Crawfish and Gators and Bears, Oh My!

Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

It’s crawfish season in Louisiana, the smell of these tasty crustaceans and some Tony Chachere’s wafts through the humid air. The azaleas are blooming, and each day is hotter than the next as summer approaches. While it’s certainly tempting to sit down somewhere air-conditioned with a glass of iced tea until the sun goes down, there’s more to New Orleans than the nightlife: There’s also wildlife. Situated entirely within the city’s borders is the 23,000-acre Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest of the eight refuges within the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex (SELA NWRC), designated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a priority urban wildlife refuge. From bottomland hardwoods to freshwater and brackish marshes and from lagoons to natural bayous, the SELA NWRC is truly diverse, and works with a variety of partners to bring dynamic environmental education, conservation, recreation, and programming initiatives to residents and visitors in and around New Orleans.

Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, New Orleans, Louisiana (Ian Shive/USFWS)

Here are some examples of the partnerships and programs that make Bayou Sauvage and other refuges in the complex a “must visit” during any trip to the Crescent City:

Junior Refuge Ranger Spring Break Camp (April 2-6, 2018)
Campers will explore nature while enjoying a variety of outdoor activities such as canoeing, fishing, wildlife observation, hiking, and helping with habitat restoration projects.

Louisiana Refuge (Courtesy USFWS)

Birdwatching at Bayou Sauvage (Year Round)
As part of the Mississippi Flyway, Bayou Sauvage is a birdwatcher’s paradise

Step Outside Day (May 12, 2018)
The family-friendly Step Outside Day introduces young people to outdoor recreation activities. Pontoon boat tours, canoe paddling, archery, hands-on nature activities, bird house building, and more.

Beach Sweep (September 15, 2018)
Each year, Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges partners with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy to clean up waterways and beaches around the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.

“Wild Things” 2015 (Courtesy USFWS)

Wild Things (October 13, 2018)
A free event celebrating National Wildlife Refuges Week. Activities include a Wildlife Youth Art Exhibition, boat tours, wildflower walks, guest exhibitors, live animals, hayrides, archery, a casting pond, a kids activity tent, bird house building, food, live music, and more.


The University of New Orleans Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Science Coastal Education Program
Bayou Sauvage NWR partners with this University of New Orleans program using inquiry-based science activities to advance the understanding and stewardship of Louisiana’s coastal ecosystems. Many projects have the aim of increasing habitat biodiversity.

Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges
FLWR focuses on the preservation of wildlife habitats and the public stewardship of Southeast Louisiana Refuges. They support the refuges by partnering with USFWS to promote educational and environmental projects.


NWRA’s Urban Refuge Program – Protecting our Conservation Future strives to reach beyond refuge boundaries to engage with and connect people of all ages to nature and our Refuge System.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2018/03/10-cities-campaign-bayou-sauvage-national-wildlife-refuge/

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