Bayou Tours: A Guide to the Louisiana Outdoors
by Kristin Mouk
Atchafalaya Basin's ecosystem
are they beautiful, but the swamplands are also a functional component
of Louisiana's environment. Along with its abundance of animals
and fish, the basin produces thousands of pounds of vegetation
yearly. This vegetation is a valuable source of flood control
in the perpetually damp climate of Louisiana, absorbing millions
of gallons of water yearly.
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Basin is the home of many animal species nearing extinction, for
example the Louisiana black bear. Largely herbivorous creatures,
the Louisiana black bear lives out the mild winters in the hollowed
out cypress trees of the basin, where its population is largely
years, this hardwood river-swamp has been shrinking. Fortunately,
organizations like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S.
Army Corp of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency
have been quick to defend and protect the swamp regions from dangerous
invasions by man. In a proposal delivered to the Louisiana Legislature
on March 4 of this year, these associations have banded together
to create the Atchafalaya Basin Program. Legislative acceptance
of the program will put into effect a 15 year plan to conserve
and restore the environmental resources unique to the Atchafalaya
the fishing industry is one of Louisiana's chief resources, the
swamplands also make a major contribution to Louisiana's economy.
Because fish are so plentiful in most areas along the Mississippi
River, many chartered fishing tours combine the entertainment
of a fishing trip with information of a tour.
the day tours in the Greater Baton Rouge/New Orleans area are
the Alligator Bayou Swamp and Manchac Swamp Tours, both of which
offer canoe rentals and charted boat tours. Angelle's Atchafalaya
Basin Tours offer tours in either French or English narration.
Manchac Swamp Boat Tours boast alligators as its number one attraction
on daily tours. Some of the longer boating trips, which can last
up to one week, include the entire Atchafalaya Basin area, not
just its surrounding swamplands.