About the Refuge

Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge is one of nine refuges managed as part of the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex.

One of the last remaining marsh areas adjacent to Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne, the refuge contains a wide variety of wildlife habitat, including bottomland hardwoods, freshwater and brackish marshes, lagoons, canals, borrow pits, and natural bayous.

An important stop over along the Mississippi Flyway, these diverse habitats meet the needs of approximately 340 bird species throughout the year. The American alligator is also a common sight on the refuge.

Most of the refuge is located inside hurricane protection levees built to protect New Orleans from storm surge and flooding. Because the levees interrupt the natural water flow, a network of pumps and flap gates regulate seasonal water levels. This in turn, encourages the summer growth of emergent grasses and provides waterfowl with winter food supplies.

Rainfall is the main source of water for these fresh marshes, and water levels fluctuate with seasons, rainfall, and water management practices.