Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge
Just ahead is the Visitor Center for the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge. Be sure to stop and take the time to see the dynamic multi-media exhibits that interpret the plants, animals and people of area. This is the primary interpretation and education center, as well as the headquarters, for the four refuges that make up the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge complex. These four refuges are Cameron Prairie, Sabine, Lacassine and Shell Keys National Wildlife Refuges. One characteristic that makes Cameron Prairie special is that it is extremely diverse ecologically. It contains almost 10,000 acres of fresh water marshes and 15,000 acres of brackish and salt marshes. The latter are important nursery grounds for brown and white shrimp, blue crab, and many types of fish. The refuge also contains prairie areas. Over time as wetlands fill in with plant matter and debris they become drier and the plant community changes through a process called plant succession. In a sense a prairie is a marsh grown older. In some areas of the refuge, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is restoring areas of native prairie grasses here by disking up non-native vegetation and using prescribed burning -fires purposely set -to benefit native plants while discouraging invasive vegetation such Chinese Tallow. Visit the interpretive center to learn more about wetland management, hear how wetlands affect your quality of life, and experience engaging and inspiring stories of local people who depend on the marsh.