Marsh Maneuvers is:
- 4 weeks of camps
- 4-H high school students from across the state
- 4 parishes at each camp
- 4 days to see, learn about and gain an appreciation for Louisiana’s Coastal environment
Since 1989, over 600 high school 4H students from all across Louisiana have had the unforgettable experience of walking in marsh mud, swatting mosquitoes and watching the sunrise over the marsh. This sometimes grueling but rewarding experience also etched in their minds the wonder, complexity, value and productivity of Louisiana’s coastal environment also known as America’s Wetlands.
Marsh Maneuvers is an educational program of the LSU AgCenter in cooperation with the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. While the program was held in the Barataria watershed (1993-2003), the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program was a major contributor to this award winning program. Beginning in 2004, Marsh Maneuvers moved to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Grand Chenier, Louisiana. Starting in 2007, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources became a major sponsor for the camps. The McIhenny Company also cooperated with this project by arranging coastal restoration activities near Avery Island.
With the move to Rockefeller Refuge comes a newly updated curriculum that focuses on the marshes of the Chenier Plain ecosystem and Teche-Vermilion, Mermentau and Calcasieu watersheds. Students experienced the biological diversity and complexity of this environment by examining the life cycles and habitat requirements of wetland flora and fauna. They participated in evaluating environmental quality through water testing and examining the hydrology of the watershed basins and the coast. Exercises in natural resource management helped the students appreciate the difficulty in balancing social needs and environmental consequences. Some of the activities used to illustrate these concepts include: fishing, crabbing, cast netting, water chemistry testing, wildlife observation, seafood processing, boating, policy debates and more.
The week long camps were held in July. Four sessions were held with students from 16 different parishes participating. Parish participation is rotated so that students from all 64 Louisiana parishes have an opportunity to attend every three or four years.
The LSU AgCenter and Sea Grant provided two Fisheries/Watershed agents as instructors and two 4H agents as chaperones for each camp session. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries provide an aquatic education specialist at each camp as well as provide the dormitory facility and boat transportation. Thanks to the grant from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the cooperation of the participating agencies, this opportunity was offered to the students free of charge.
Marsh Maneuvers camps are open to 4-H groups.
Are you interested in joining 4-H?
Contact Dr. Terril Faul at 225-578-2196.
Want to more information about Marsh Maneuvers?
Contact Mark Shirley at 337-898-4335 or [email protected]