The Coastal Wetlands Park is a new feature in Port Fourchon, designed to fulfill the environmental, educational, and recreational needs of visitors and local residents alike. The port’s Slot D development project was planned to place dredged material into a leveed impoundment in the center of the port complex. The area, consisting of over 100 acres of restored brackish marsh, is now accessible to outdoor recreationists, researchers, and birders. At this time, the park is a kayak or canoe-in-only site.

The niche array at the Coastal Wetlands Park includes a meandering, man-made tidal creek, which serves as a paddling trail from which to access the site. The tidal creek winds through the restored marsh from its entrance at Flotation Canal Road down to the Flotation Canal itself. This provides a natural tidal flow into and out of the marsh, thus maintaining its health and integrity.

Typical waterbirds using the tidal creek and flooded marsh vegetation include many species of waterfowl, including both puddle and diving ducks. Wading birds such as Great Blue, Little Blue, Tricolored, and Green Herons, Great, Snowy, Reddish, and Cattle Egrets, Roseate Spoonbill, and White-faced Ibis use both areas as well.  Expect many seabird species to be cruising the tidal creek. These include gulls, terns, and Black Skimmer, American White Pelican, and Brown Pelican.

Other marsh-dwelling and/or foraging species, including Northern Harrier, Osprey, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Kingbird, Marsh and Sedge Wrens, Nelson’s and Seaside Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbird, and Common Yellowthroat.

As a result of the well-planned tidal circulation, tidal mudflats represent another resting and foraging habitat component used by the abovementioned species as well as plovers, sandpipers, godwits, curlews and other shorebirds. When the tide is out, expect some shorebird activity here on a near year-round basis.

This park is designed as an immersive recreational and educational area. It is open for public use from sunrise to sunset. Amenities include identification signage, gravel parking, and a kayak launch. Outdoor recreational opportunities include paddling, birding, fishing, and nature photography. Not handicapped accessible. Future plans for the Coastal Wetlands Park include an interpretive hub, several observation platforms with pedestal-mounted scopes, walking trails, and an event pavilion.

Parks & Nature
Viewing Platform/Observation Blind