Bayou Teche

Atchafalaya Basin, LouisianaPhoto credit: Wikimedia Commons

Bayou Teche, in south-central Louisiana, lies at the southernmost end of the rich Atchafalaya River Basin, one of the most productive wildlife areas in North America and the nation's largest undisturbed expanse of wetlands. The Bayou is home to the threatened native black bear and boasts the greatest number of bald eagle sightings in the state. For years, conservationists have sought to protect this rich wildlife area from development. In 2001, The Trust for Public Land helped create the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge by acquiring 9,000 acres for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2011, we began working to acquire an additional 7,343 acres of bottomland agricultural land to be included into the Refuge. The addition will link two black bear habitat areas and host many other fish and wildlife species. The refuge, which will be 27,000 acres when completed, will also be used for environmental education, and wildlife-oriented recreation. Reforestation efforts in the refuge can also boost carbon sequestration, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.