The Atchafalaya River Basin

A barge tow on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in the ARB floodway.

The Old River Control Structure ensures that the ARB floodway provides essential flood control for the lower Mississippi River.

The ARB supports local, regional, national and global biodiversity by providing large blocks of forested wetland, marsh, and aquatic habitats that are important for many fisheries and wildlife species.

An example of a hydraulic dam where high water levels in the Atchafalaya River prevent low-oxygen black water from draining out of the swamp.

Forested floodplains in the ARB floodway, like this baldcypress forest, sequester nutrients, carbon, and pollutants in the soil and woody tree biomass.

Forested habitats in the ARB are important areas for birds. Populations of several species that are continentally or globally at risk are supported by the large expanse of forest.

The Atchafalaya River Basin is a popular recreational fishing destination, especially for largemouth bass, sunfishes and crappie.

Consumptive uses like hunting and fishing have traditionally been major uses of the ARB.

The red swamp crawfish (Procambarus clarkii) is enjoyed as a protein food source for people and a foundation of the Cajun culture.

The Atchafalaya River delta complex, composed of the Atchafalaya and Wax Lake deltas, is the only actively building delta complex in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

The Atchafalaya River passing through a large expanse of bottomland hardwood forest in the ARB floodway.


Stay Updated

Learn about the places you love and find out how you can help by signing up for Nature eNews.

I'm already on the list Read our privacy policy

Thank you for joining our online community!

We'll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates, and exciting stories.