Louisiana’s Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area is famed for its large expanses of brackish marshes, so wet and wild they are only accessible by boat.
Louisiana's Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area is famed for its large expanses of brackish marshes, so wet and wild they are only accessible by boat. The property's remoteness and incredible wildlife diversity draw sportsmen from across the country, helping to make Pointe-aux-Chenes one of the most popular management areas in Louisiana.
Unfortunately, this part of Louisiana is experiencing one of the highest rates of wetlands loss in the country, and Pointe-aux-Chenes is not immune. Additionally, since Hurricane Rita damaged critical management infrastructure salinities in Pointe-aux-Chenes' marshes have been rising, and fewer ducks, geese and other species of wildlife have been found in the area.
Enter Ducks Unlimited. DU is currently wrapping up a restoration project that will restore historic salinities on 3,075 acres of Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA-ensuring that the property continues to provide high-quality wintering habitat for over a dozen species of waterfowl.
"Historically, this area has supported large concentrations of waterfowl," said Bob Dew, DU's Manager of Conservation Programs in Louisiana. "The unit still holds good numbers of gadwall and green-winged teal, but the habitat conditions continue to deteriorate. The work ongoing at the Grand Bayou Unit will allow managers to manage water and salinity levels to create near ideal habitat conditions."
DU's improvements will also enhance storm surge protection, improve water quality, and restore habitat not just for waterfowl, but for many other species of birds and for saltwater fish such as redfish, croaker and speckled trout.
"The Grand Bayou project will benefit about 3,075 acres, but Louisiana has lost more than 1.2 million acres of coastal wetlands since the 1930s and continues to lose 10,000 acres per year." Dew added. "The power to reverse this trend, restore the Mississippi River Delta and build coastal wetlands lies with the freshwater and sediment from the Mississippi River. Implementing such restoration projects is expensive and requires a strong commitment from political leaders at all levels."
Pointe-aux-Chenes Grand Bayou Project supported by:
Ducks Unlimited, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Abita Brewing Company, Irene W. & C.B. Pennington Foundation, Go-Devil Manufacturers of Louisiana - Warren Coco, TransCanada, ExxonMobil Foundation, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation, Matthew Hagen, Dr. Ted Price, Pierre Olivier, Trapp Chevrolet, Inc. - Heinke Trapp, Songy's Sporting Goods - Barry Songy, Bobby & Linda Burguieres