About the Refuge


Created in 1988, Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge was the 447th refuge established and the first created under the goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge was established to preserve and protect wintering waterfowl and their habitat. It was the first refuge established under the auspices of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The refuge is located approximately 25 miles southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, in north central Cameron Parish. It contains 9,621 acres that include fresh marsh, coastal prairie, and old rice fields (currently moist soil units). Located at the convergence of two major flyways, the refuge has an important role in management for migratory birds.

Refuge visitation has grown in recent years to approximately 100,000 visits annually. The visitor center, exhibits, and auto-tour route are the primary attractions for the visiting public. The refuge is an integral part of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road.

The East Cove Unit, which is only accessible by boat, was established in 1937 as part of Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. This unit, administratively transferred to Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge from Sabine in 2001, consists of 14,927 acres of brackish to intermediate marsh. These marshes are managed as a nursery for brown and white shrimp, blue crab, and many fish species. Located in Cameron Parish in the southwest corner of Louisiana, the East Cove Unit is bordered on the west by Calcasieu Lake, and on the north, east, and south by privately owned marshes.

Getting There . . .

 The refuge headquarters is located at the Gibbstown Unit. Follow these directions to get there:

Take exit 36 (highway 397 south) off of Interstate 10 east of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Follow highway 397 south 8 miles. Turn left at the stop sign on highway 14. Follow highway 14 to Holmwood, Louisiana. Where highway 14 turns left continue straight onto highway 27. From this point the refuge headquarters is located 11 miles south on the right hand side.