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About the Refuge


 Established in 1994, Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is the 504th refuge under the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Big Branch Marsh NWR is one of eight refuges managed as part of the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Prior to establishing the refuge, area wetlands were threatened by urban expansion from the city of New Orleans. Several local organizations, including Northshore Coastal Watch, St. Tammany Sportsman’s League, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, supported and initiated the establishment of the refuge. These organizations lobbied local senators and congressmen to save the wetland areas, which resulted in the establishment of the refuge. 

It is comprised of over 18,000 acres of offshore grass beds, marshes, hardwood hammocks and pine ridges. With a variety of habitat on the refuge, shorebirds, wading birds, neotropical songbird migrants and a host of year-round resident waterfowl can be found here.  Deer, rabbit, mink, otter, raccoon, muskrat, and nutria all make their home here, and the marshes provide critical spawning and nursery habitat for a number of fresh and saltwater species.     

Click here to learn about conservation efforts at Big Branch Marsh.

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2014
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