Sabine National Wildlife Refuge West Cove North Recreation Area closure set for July 25

(Source: MGN)
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 4:57 PM CDT
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SABINE PARISH, La. - The Sabine National Wildlife Refuge West Cove North Recreation Area will temporarily close to the public from July 25 – August 31, 2022. This closure includes the parking lot, both boat launches, and all fishing piers. The closure is required to ensure public safety while the area serves as a staging location and launch site to construct an oyster reef habitat along the West Cove shoreline of Sabine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Sabine NWR’s West Cove South Recreation Area parking lot and the boat launch at the Hog Island Gully Recreation Area will remain open. Boaters wishing to access West Cove can launch from the Hog Island Gully launch and follow the canal east to the ship channel, then southwest to West Cove. Boaters are cautioned, however, that parking is limited at the Hog Island Gully Recreation Area.

The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, is completing an important oyster reef restoration and coastal shoreline protection project. The project is located in the West Cove of Calcasieu Lake along the shoreline of Sabine NWR. This phase of the project will add an additional mile to an existing 1.5-mile section of the oyster reef created in 2017 and 2021. The past phases of the project have successfully grown into a functioning nearshore oyster reef. The reef is made of gabion baskets filled with limestone which are placed in the water near the shore. Reefs create a habitat for many marine species including fish, shrimp, and crabs, and provide oyster larvae to the adjacent public oyster seed ground. The oyster reef also protects and stabilizes the coastal marshes of Sabine NWR by slowing wave energy and acting as an important coastal buffer. Finally, this project provides a natural protective barrier to vulnerable portions of Louisiana Hwy 27.

This project provides many benefits to the communities of Southwest Louisiana, as well as to the wildlife and habitat of Sabine National Wildlife Refuge and Calcasieu Lake. Refuge staff asks that visitors be patient and obey area closures throughout the project. For additional information regarding this project, Sabine NWR, or other Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges, please call 337-762-3816 or 337-563-7684.

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