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Exploring the Ecological Importance of Swamps in New Orleans




Traditionally, the Louisiana territory is divided into 2: the grasslands of the north and the alluvial of the south.

The highlands of the state consist of grasslands and forests, being Mount Driskill the highest point in Louisiana with 535 feet over the sea level, and it’s in Bienville Parish, in the town of Bryceland.

The alluvial include swamps, coastal marshes, beaches, and islands that also work as natural barriers from hurricanes.

You can find these throughout the Mississippi River and the Mexican gulf.

The lowest part of Louisiana is New Orleans which is 8 feet under the sea level.

We are at the Barataria Preserve, inside the Jean Lafitte national park. At the park, you will find paths that go over forests, swamps, marshes, and estuaries.

The park was named in honor of the pirate Jean Lafitte, who used to smuggled good into the city. The bar in Bourbon Street under the same name was one of the places where he used to hide precious and illegal goods, the other place was the Island of Barataria where the plantation owners would go and buy the coveted products.

There is a large number of animals living in the swamps, being the alligator the most famous one. For years, entire towns have hunted for the alligators, otters, and opossums to sell their skin and pelt.

The park is only a few miles away from the city and its visit is a great way to know how New Orleans used to be before the human impact.

In the swamps, you will also find the crawfish we so love to eat. And we can’t forget about the birds that during the winter months fly down to the south and fill the swamps with their songs.

When you come to the swamp keep in mind that for no reason you would feed the alligators and must always be aware of the wild animals that might be sunbathing on the pathways.

Besides water bottles, soda bottles, cans, and food is not allowed on the paths, but there are tables on the visitor centers to sit down and eat. And don’t forget the mosquito repellent.

I hope you follow this advice and enjoy the wonderful flora and fauna that we have here in Louisiana.




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