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

About the Southeast Louisiana Refuges

The staff of the Southeast Louisiana (SELA) Refuges manage eight refuges. The staff is comprised of biologists, foresters, managers, law enforcement officers, administrators, fire program managers and crew, educators, and maintenance workers. This diverse group of people perform a variety of jobs in managing our refuges. Most of the staff work out of the headquarters in Lacombe, Louisiana, although on any given day you may find them on any of the refuges. A few of the staff are stationed at locations nearer to the refuges where they spend most of their time.

To learn more about the SELA Refuges and Programs, browse the pages in the menus to the left.

Photo of the fishing pond at Bogue Chitto NWR with bald cypress trees and a duck box
© Tom Carlisle

Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge

This 15,000 acre refuge Is located in the mid-section of the Atchafalaya Basin near Lafayette, Louisiana. This river bottomland refuge is fed by the Atchafalaya River, an ancient distribution channel of the Mississippi and Red Rivers. It consists of bottomland hardwoods, cypress and tupelo swamps, bayous and back-water lakes. This is the heart of Louisiana's Cajun country.

Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

This is the largest national wildlife refuge located wholly within the boundary of a city (New Orleans.) Bayou Sauvage has 23,000 acres of fresh and brackish water marshes, canals, natural bayous, lagoons and hardwood bottoms. Most of the refuge is within massive hurricane protection levees, meant to hold back storm surges and maintain water levels in the low-lying city.

Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge

The 9,028 acre refuge in Franklin, Centerville and Garden City Louisiana is composed of wet bottomland hardwood crossed by bayous and canals. The primary mission of the refuge is to preserve and manage habitat for the threatened Louisiana black bear. Other objectives are to provide habitat for other fish and wildlife species, environmental education, and opportunities for public recreation.

Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1994. It incorporates 15,000 acres of pine flatwoods, oak ridges, fresh, brackish and saltwater marsh. This diverse habitat is a wonderful example of the natural habitat on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain surrounded by fast developing communities. The refuge offers many outdoor recreation and educational opportunities.

Photo of an American bittern hiding in the cattails
© Tom Carlisle

Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge

Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1980 and encompasses 36,000 acres of the Pearl River Basin. Located northeast of Slidell, Louisiana, this beautiful bottomland swamp is one of the least disturbed in the country. The refuge also has upland areas of live oak and pine forest.

Breton National Wildlife Refuge

Breton National Wildlife Refuge is part of a barrier island system in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the second oldest refuge in the country. It celebrated it's 100th anniversary on October 4th, 2004. The low-growing plants, beaches and lagoons provide habitat for colonies of brown pelicans, shore birds, wading birds and seabirds, as well as wintering grounds for other shorebirds and waterfowl.

Delta National Wildlife Refuge

Delta National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935.  The refuge's 49,000 acres were formed by the deposition of sediment carried by the Mississippi River.  The refuge combines the warmth of the Gulf and the wealth of the river.  It's lush vegetation is the food source for a multitude of fish, waterfowl and other animals.  Delta NWR is the winter home for hundreds of thousands of snow geese, coots and ducks.

Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge

Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1996 in Houma, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. This 4,416 acre refuge has a beautiful fresh marsh with ponds, levees and man-made canals. Oil and gas wells, and the Gulf-Intracoastal Waterway are important man-made features in the area.

Last Updated on January 13, 2011