It’s not hidden; it’s just out-of-the-way.
The heart of Acadian Louisiana, the Bayou Teche Corridor region of the heritage area is a living testament of the rich, robust life of the Cajun culture. Nature and wildlife lovers explore a unique river swamp eco-system with over 85 species of fish, 200 species of birds, alligators and black bear. Comprised of bottomland hardwood forests, swamps, bayous and backwater lakes and marshes, the life ways of the people reflect the dramatic natural resources; hunting, fishing, crawfish farming and trapping are but a few examples.
The Atchafalaya Basin, the surrounding plain of the river, is filled with bayous, bald cypress swamps, and marshes that give way to more brackish estuarine conditions and end in the Spartina grass marshes, near and at where it meets the Gulf of Mexico. It includes the Lower Atchafalaya River, Wax Lake Outlet, Atchafalaya Bay, and the Atchafalaya River and Bayous Chene, Boeuf, and Black navigation channel. See maps and photo views of the Atchafalaya Deltas centered on 29°26′30″N 91°25′00″W.
The Basin, which is susceptible to long periods of deep flooding, is sparsely inhabited. The Basin is about 20 miles (32 km) in width from east to west and 150 miles (240 km) in length. The Basin is the largest existing wetland in the United States with an area of 1,400,000 acres (5,700 km2) including the surrounding swamps outside of the levees that historically were connected to the Basin. The Basin contains nationally significant expanses of bottomland hardwoods, swamplands, bayous, and back-water lakes. The Basin’s thousands of acres of forest and farmland are home to the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus), which has been on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service threatened list since 1992.