Refuges in the SELA Complex
Bayou Sauvage
Bayou Teche
Big Branch Marsh
Bogue Chitto
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SELA Refuges Programs

Environmental Education

We offer environmental education programs through two of our refuges: Big Branch Marsh and Bayou Sauvage. Both refuges offer educational programs for students of all ages. We come to your school but also invite teachers and students to our educational facilities; one in New Orleans East and our Northshore Outdoor Classroom near Cane Bayou. We are able to visit any school in Orleans, St. Bernard, Jefferson, St. Charles or St. Tammany Parishes and parts of Washington Parish and Pearl River County. Please reserve at least two weeks in advance. All programs are free of charge and once you have signed up you will be sent a pre-visit package that will help you prepare your students to get the most from their field trip. Contact us for more information about program content.

Endangered Species - Grades 3 - 6
Classroom, 45 minutes - one hour

Two students use binoculars to watch birds
Credit USFWS

This program provides a look at why species become threatened and endangered and what can be done to protect them. We’ll look at exotic animals and some species found in our backyard with visuals and actual wildlife items confiscated from illegal world trade.

Creature Features - Grades K - 3
Classroom, 45 minutes - one hour

Creature Features explores the concept of adaptation in some of Louisiana’s native animals. A student will “model” the features of a successfully adapted wetland creature to illustrate biological principles. A live animal can be requested.

Creature Features – Skulls - Grades 4 - 6
Classroom, 45 minutes - one hour

This Creature Features version offers an in-depth look at the adaptations of native animals using skull replicas.

Incredible Insect Pollinators - Grades 3 - 4
Classroom, 45 minutes to one hour

Insect pollinators play a significant role in the production of many food crops. This program explores the anatomy of an insect pollinator using one student as our “model.” We’ll also discuss the process of pollination before making our own insect pollinator with art supplies. (Art supplies for 25 students included.)

Big Branch Marsh Educational Programs

Refugology - Grades 5 - 6
On-site, 3.5 to 4 hours (including time for lunch)

Students learn to manage a refuge for a day by gathering information as foresters, biologists and a member of the fire crew. After a break for lunch, they’ll use their collected data to make decisions regarding how the land should be managed. They’ll learn the difficulties of trying to maintain a balance that protects the land, animals and people.

To reserve a program for your class or for more information call 985-882-2021 or email us at:

Bayou Sauvage Educational Programs

Survival Wetland Wildlife Style - Grades 2-3
On-site, 2.5 hours (including time for lunch)

This fun and educational program offers younger students an opportunity to observe a wetland and its habitants up close. The concepts of adaptation, survival and predator-prey relationships are integrated into the program. 

Habitat Is Where It’s At - Grades 4 - 6
On-site, 3.5 to 4 hours (including time for lunch)

This program offers an opportunity to see and experience wetland ecology principles first hand. Since it is an on-site program, it provides a hand-on, outdoor learning experience about the vital importance of our wetlands and their restoration and renewal.

Location: Bayou Sauvage is located in New Orleans East on Chef Menteur Highway, 3.8 miles east of I-510.

To reserve a program for your class or for more information call toll free at 866-554-6319 or 985-882-2021, from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm weekdays or email us:

Educational Materials

Delta National Wildlife Refuge CD - "Discovering the Delta - An Interactive Exploration of Delta National Wildlife Refuge." This educational CD-ROM is now available free of charge. Click here for more information.

Waterfowl and Wading Birds Activities - Grades K - 8
Bayou Lacombe Centre Headquarters Property, 30 minutes to one hour
Tour our visitor center and then choose from a number of activities targeted to your class grade. You lead the activities for your group. All instructions, equipment and materials provided. E-mail for a complete list.
Visitor center is located at 61389 Hwy 434, Lacombe, LA 70445.

Junior Ranger
Bayou Lacombe Centre Headquarters Property, approximately 90 minutes
Thursday - Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
The Junior Ranger program takes kids on a self-guided exploration of the beautiful Bayou Lacombe Centre, headquarters for Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges. The program consists of thirteen self-paced activities on the grounds of the headquarters grounds. All equipment is provided free of charge. When the Junior Ranger booklet is completed each participant is awarded a Junior Ranger badge and certificate. E-mail for more information. Visitor center is located at 61389 Hwy 434, Lacombe, LA 70445.

Junior Duck Stamp Program - Grades K - 12
The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program (JDS) is a dynamic arts curriculum that teaches wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum with participants completing a JDS design as their visual “term papers”. This year, the Junior Duck Stamp Program is managed out of Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge by the state coordinator

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Last Updated on August 14, 2013