Water Trails of the Atchafalaya

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The West Baton Rouge Museum is pleased to highlight Louisiana’s rich natural diversity with an exhibit dedicated to the Atchafalaya Basin Swamp. The exhibition, Water Trails of the Atchafalaya, will be on display at the West Baton Rouge Museum from June 17 through October 29, 2017. Come celebrate Louisiana’s greatest natural resource through the art and lifestyle it inspires!

Named “long river” by the Choctaw, the Atchafalaya River stretches 135 miles from where it branches off the Mississippi and Red Rivers to its terminus at the Gulf of Mexico. The basin of this river, which includes some 1.4 million acres, is the only growing delta in Louisiana. It boasts the largest contiguous bottomland hardwood forest in North America and is prime wintering habitat for more than half of America’s migratory waterfowl. The Atchafalaya Basin may be a last refuge for endangered species such as the Peregrine Falcon, Bachman’s Warbler and the Ivory Bill Woodpecker, as well as the endangered Louisiana Black Bear and the Florida Panther. Overall, the Atchafalaya Basin is home to fifteen Federal and State listed endangered or threatened wildlife species.

White tail deer, bobcat, coyote, alligator, beaver, nutria, mink, otter, musk rat, armadillo, fox and opossum also call the Atchafalaya home. The numerous mammal, reptile and amphibian species attract local hunters; and the nearly 100 species of fish, crawfish, shrimp and crabs support commercial and sport fishing. Because of its rich diversity, the Atchafalaya is considered the most productive swamp in the world.

Water Trails of the Atchafalaya is dedicated to Greg Guirard who passed away in early June. The exhibit features Guirard’s photography as well as that of C.C. Lockwood and Justin Patin. The exhibit also features original works by Louisiana native artists including Melissa Bonin, Rigsby Frederick, Keith Felder, Shane Seneca, and Kenny Greig. Visit the West Baton Rouge Museum to experience the beauty and diversity of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, America’s Foreign Country.

The West Baton Rouge Museum is located at 845 N. Jefferson Avenue in Port Allen. For more information, visit www.westbatonrougemuseum.com or call 225-336- 2422 Ext. 15.

Contributed Report