National Wildlife Refuge
|61389 Hwy. 434
Lacombe, LA 70445
Phone Number: 985-882-2000
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Lush green vegetation carpet this refuge at the mouth of the Mississippi.|
Delta National Wildlife Refuge
The Delta National Wildlife Refuge is located 10 miles South of Venice, Louisiana along the Mississippi River. The area formed when a breach in the natural levee of the Mississippi River occurred in 1862 approximately 100 miles below New Orleans, Louisiana. The 48,000 acre refuge was purchased in 1935 with the primary purpose to provide sanctuary and habitat to wintering waterfowl. Waterfowl counts in excess of 400,000 ducks and geese present on the refuge during peak population periods have been recorded.
The marsh habitat on the refuge is classified as Emergent Wetlands. Two basic marsh zones occur within the habitat: fresh marsh nearest the main tributaries, and brackish marsh near the Gulf of Mexico. The fertile soils, vegetative composition, and shallow water wetland environment offers outstanding recreational opportunities such as fishing, wildlife observation, photography and hunting. It provides protection and habitat to numerous plant and wildlife species including the endangered piping plover. Tens of thousands of wintering waterfowl take advantage of the rich food resources found in the delta and untold numbers of song birds and shorebirds use the refuge as a staging area during migration periods.
Getting There . . .
Delta National Wildlife Refuge is located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, approximately 10 miles South of Venice, Louisiana. No vehicular access is to the refuge is available, boat only.
The refuge office is located at 215 Offshore Shipyard Road, approximately 80 miles South of New Orleans, Louisiana on Highway 23 South in Venice.
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The crevasse (or water diversion) program is the main management activity on the refuge. As the Mississippi River levees were constructed higher for flood control purposes, the natural flow and deposit of sedimentation was lost in the Mississippi Delta. The natural wave action of the Gulf waters and simple erosion continued to occur, thus portions of marsh were lost. The crevasse program provides planned cuts made into the pass banks of the Mississippi River and its tributaries to allow the sediment loaded waters to be diverted and flow into shallow open ponds. The water flows slow enough to allow the sediment to settle on the bottom and build up over time creating vegetated splays. These splays are vital in creating emergent marsh habitat and food sources for wintering waterfowl.
Oil and Gas operations are abundant throughout the refuge with over 455 permitted wells.