- Between the Gulf's beach cheniers (oak ridges) and the coastal prairie lies a basin of wetlands that is one of the most productive and fertile areas of North America. This is where the river's fresh water and the Gulf's saline waters mix; where the abundance of all wildlife is dependent on the proportion of vegetation to water, with the amount of vegetation being the important ingredient. This area could be called an estuary, a marsh, a wetland; its name is Sabine National Wildlife Refuge.
Sabine encompasses three general types of marsh that are governed primarily by elevations. The ridges are of the highest elevation and range from a few inches to several feet above mean water level.
Grass is the major vegetation. The prairie marsh blends with the ridges from a lower elevation and supports mainly grasses and sedges. The low marsh is flooded a large percentage of the time and is vegetated by sedges, and submerged floating aquatics.
The primary management objective is to maintain and perpetuate Gulf Coast wetlands for wintering waterfowl from the Mississippi and Central Flyways. It encompasses 33,000 acres of impounded fresh marsh and 91,511 acres of brackish to intermediate marsh.
The refuge is one of the largest estuarine-dependent marine species nurseries in southwest Louisiana. Wetlands are maintained using prescribed burning, cattle grazing, and water level and water quality manipulation. There are over 115 miles of canals, 61 miles of levees, and 8 water control structures that are part of the complex water management operation.
The refuge is located in Cameron Parish in southwest Louisiana.
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