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Celebrate Louisiana & Cajuns with this jambalaya of entertaining and educational

Louisiana History

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William C. C. Claiborne William Charles Cole Claiborne was born in 1775 in Sussex County, Virginia and eventually bec...

William C. C. Claiborne

The Germans in Louisiana I wonder how many Louisiana natives and visitors have searched for the German Coast along the...

The Germans in Louisiana

Baroness Pontalba So many of us, beginning as young children, have walked through Jackson Square in the French ...

Baroness Pontalba

Nottoway Plantation Sitting only 200′ from the banks of the Mississippi River just north of White Castle, Louisian...

Nottoway Plantation

HUEY LONG (1893-1935) Huey Pierce Long was perhaps the most controversial and colorful state governor in US history. ...

HUEY LONG (1893-1935)

THE TABASCO STORY In 1841a fourth generation American of Scottish-Irish descent moved to New Orleans to begin a...

THE TABASCO STORY

Houmas Indian Tribe The year was 1686 when French explorer Robert LaSalle led his expedition down the Mississippi t...

Houmas Indian Tribe

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Claudia's Corn Soup

6 slices bacon 1 pound smoked sausage, diced ½ cup pickled pork or any ham seasoning 2 large white onions, finely chopped 3 stalks...

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Manale's BBQ Shrimp

One of our favorite recipes to prepare for friends and family is the barbecued shrimp recipe obtained by my mother (over 40 years...

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Oysters Mosca

Johnny Adapted from dish made famous by Manale’s and Mosca’s restaurants- of New Orleans 4 dozen oysters and liquid 1 large...

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Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Missy Replicated from Houston’s Restaurant’s (Metairie, LA) popular appetizer 2 sticks butter 1 medium white onion, finely...

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Marcia Ball

An energetic combination of blues and honky-tonk with a touch of boogie woogie best describes this Louisiana native who has been...

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New Orleans Street Cars

New Orleans became the second American city to have streetcars in 1835. The first city to introduce these horse-driven train cars...

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Atchafalaya Basin

The largest swamp wilderness in the United States; an area comprising nearly 600,000 acres encompasses most of Cajun Country in...

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Natchitoches Meat Pies

Natchitoches (Nack’-uh-tish) has long been revered as one of the most desired family destinations in Louisiana. It’s quaint...

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Oysters Mosca

Johnny Adapted from dish made famous by Manale’s and Mosca’s restaurants- of New Orleans 4 dozen oysters and liquid 1 large...

Image
Manale's BBQ Shrimp

One of our favorite recipes to prepare for friends and family is the barbecued shrimp recipe obtained by my mother (over 40 years...

Image
Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Missy Replicated from Houston’s Restaurant’s (Metairie, LA) popular appetizer 2 sticks butter 1 medium white onion, finely...

Image
Natchitoches Meat Pies

Natchitoches (Nack’-uh-tish) has long been revered as one of the most desired family destinations in Louisiana. It’s quaint...

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Gene Rizzo

Gene Rizzo, South LA native, architect, successful artist

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Cooking Louisiana

Cooking Louisiana. Excellent site for finding best dining in New Orleans area

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Louisiana Hot Stuff

Louisiana Hot Stuff. Unique Louisiana gifts in Lafayette, LA

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Louisiana Cookin'

Magazine covering authentic recipes, tasty travels and unique cultures of Louisiana.

The largest swamp wilderness in the United States; an area comprising nearly 600,000 acres encompasses most of Cajun Country in South Louisiana. The Atchafalaya Basin includes an area approximately 20 miles wide and 150 miles in length. It’s landscape is made up of swamps, forested hardwoods, bayous, and back-water lakes. One-half of the North American migratory bird species fly through the Atchafalaya Basin each year. Sources report that the basin accounts for three-and-one-half times more fish and wildlife activity than the Florida Everglades.

Over 23 million pounds of crawfish are harvested annually from the waters of the Atchafalaya Basin and the area is home to over 200 species of birds. Outdoor activities here abound and people of South Louisiana have enjoyed what the basin contributes to Louisiana’s Sportsman’s Paradise reputation.

What many citizens may not be aware of, is that the Atchafalaya River (from Choctaw words, hacha falaia, meaning long river) served as a main channel of the Mississippi River many hundreds of years ago. And to this day, the Mississippi continues to exhibit tendencies to divert more than the present 30% of its flow into the Atchafalaya—an event that would be devastating to the people, wildlife, and economics of the area; not to mention the affect to the people and industry that depend on the Mississippi’s location downriver from that connection.

The Atchafalaya Basin includes four distinct geographical areas—the woodlands and farmlands to the north, the basin swamp in the middle, marshland further south, and the delta as the river empties into the Atchafalaya Bay.

As the river’s deltas at its mouth continue to grow, its characteristics will change to more of a river environment rather than a basin. This change would affect water temperatures, flow, and salinity ultimately reducing shrimp, oyster and fish production; it would then increase fur-bearing, waterfowl, and freshwater species.

Efforts by state and national agencies continue toward increasing the quantity of sediment into the basin beyond that deposited from annual floods. One such plan is the realignment of the entrance to the Wax Lake Outlet.

There have been several recognized threats to the basin. Most significant of these include the cypress logging that continues (although at a much reduced rate) even today. With so much of the basin being privately owned, public access is limited restricting its recreational use. Dredging in an attempt to widen and deepen navigational channels has altered the natural hydraulics and created dead zones with reduced oxygen content and virtually eliminating aquatic habitats. Lastly, the construction of levees has reduced the quantity of freshwater into many areas allowing salt water intrusion and harming recreational and commercial fishing.

From the inset map above one can certainly see the vast area of South Louisiana affected by what occurs in the Atchafalaya Basin. We should all remain informed and be willing to express concerns to our state, local, and federal representatives when decisions must be made regarding this most precious of Louisiana’s resources.

As a final, and less weighty note, on Saturday, November 22 over in Henderson, LA near Morgan CIty, the annual Atchafalaya Basin Festival will be held. You might want to get out, enjoy the fall weather, and spend the day enjoying the food, music, and festivities. Check out the Atchafalaya Basin Festival website for more details.

 

About Us

Joie de vivre (joy of living) characterizes the Cajun way of life. Through their food, music, and festivals, every gathering of family and friends becomes a celebration of heritage.  The rich traditions are embraced by Cajuns and visitors alike.Lassez les bon temps roule' (let the good times roll)!

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