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  • Photo of a male and female northern shoveler feeding on glassy water


    Coastal Louisiana is the winter home of between 3-5 million ducks, over half the waterfowl that travel the Mississippi and Central Flyways.

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    Marsh formation at Delta

    The splay of channels at Delta NWR originated in the 1860’s when a breach, or crevasse, was made in the Mississippi River levee. 

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    Marshes grow our seafood

    Coastal wetlands are breeding, spawning, feeding, and nursery grounds for over 75% of Louisiana’s harvested fish and shellfish species.

    More about the values of wetlands at Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act

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    Roseate spoonbill

    Spoonbills feed by wading in shallow water, sweeping their heads from side to side.

  • photo of large alligator with mouth open

    Our largest reptile

    North America's largest reptile is found in slow moving rivers, marshes, and bayous in the south.

    Listen to an alligator bellow here..

Waterfowl Traveling the Mississippi

Ancient Travel Routes


The Mississippi River begins at Lake Itasca in Minnesota and flows 2,350 miles to the Gulf of Mexico near Venice, Louisiana. The area drained by the Mississippi watershed covers about 40% of the lower 48 states, and about 40% of the nation's migratory waterfowl use the river basin as a migratory flyway.

More about migratory birds

About the Complex

Southeast Louisiana Refuges

The Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex encompasses seven other National Wildlife Refuges in Louisiana. Delta National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of this complex.

Delta is managed as part of the Southeast Louisiana Refuges.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

Follow NWRS Online


Things to Know

Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: May 11, 2017
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