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Public Invited to Celebrate Re-Opening of the Wetland Walkway on Sabine National Wildlife Refuge and the Creole Nature Trail

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2008


Contacts:

Diane Borden-Billiot, (337) 598-2216
Katie Harrington, (337) 436-9588


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Creole Nature Trail All-American Road representatives invite the public to Sabine National Wildlife Refuge’s Wetland Walkway on Wednesday, March 19, 2008, at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate the re-opening of the Wetland Walkway and other refuge recreation areas located along the Creole Nature Trail. The refuge is located at 3000 Holly Beach Highway south of Hackberry, Louisiana.

It’s been two and a half years since the Sabine Refuge, a major part of the Creole Nature Trail, was devastated by Hurricane Rita and had to be closed to the public. Prior to Hurricane Rita, the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road served nearly 300,000 visitors annually.

“The overwhelming community support, especially the partnership with the Creole Nature Trail, was critical in obtaining recovery funding for the entire Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex,” said Sam D. Hamilton, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director. “This kind of support shows the Service’s mission is recognized, and that the Service is fulfilling a need for the taxpayers it serves.”

According to the Project Leader of the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Don Voros, all of Sabine Refuge’s recreation areas have undergone extensive re-building. The one and a half mile Wetland Walkway, the most visited portion of the Creole Nature Trail, needed comprehensive repairs. The restrooms, parking lot, entrance kiosk, boardwalk, rest shelters and benches, accessible observation tower, and portions of the cement trail were all replaced. Since re-opening December 22, 2007, the Wetland Walkway has hosted approximately 4,000 visitors.

Other recreation areas on the refuge also were repaired. The Northline recreation area has a new entrance bridge, fishing and crabbing pier, boat launch, and a refurbished parking lot. Hog Island Gully recreation area has several refurbished fishing, crabbing and cast netting piers, parking lots, and boat ramps. The Blue Goose Trail has a new public restroom, a refurbished observation tower, a newly black-topped parking lot, and a hard surfaced half-mile walking trail leading to Calcasieu Lake. The Blue Crab recreation area, formerly known as 1A/1B, has a refurbished parking lot. The West Cove recreation area includes refurbished fishing and crabbing piers, boat launches, new hunt kiosks, and newly black-topped parking lots.

On March 19, the refuge requests that all guests park in the south parking lot of the West Cove recreation area and walk across the road to the tent set up at the Wetland Walkway.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov or http://www.fws.gov/southeast/

The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, one of only 38 designated All-American Roads and the only one in the Gulf South, was created in 1979 to stimulate economic development and tourism in the parishes traversed by the trail and to preserve the natural, cultural, scenic, recreational, historical and archaeological qualities of the trail, its people and ecology. To date, the Creole Nature Trail has been awarded more than $4.4 million in competitive grants from the America’s Byways program of the Federal Highway Administration to assist in meeting this goal.

 


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast or http://www.fws.gov/.



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