Seafood Trail Highlights Ecotourism Opportunities
Ecotourism is all about nature and community. During the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU AgCenter brainstormed ideas to keep the local seafood economy afloat. It started with the “Stay for the Seafood” video campaign, highlighting the seafood and culture of three major areas in the state of Louisiana. From there, the Seafood Trail idea blossomed for Lake Charles.
The Seafood Trail boasts some great local seafood, sights and activities, such as:
- Creole Nature Trail All-American Road
- Charlestown Farmer’s Market
- Fishing in the greater Lake Charles area
- Lake Prien
- Bord du Lac Marin
- Millennium Park
- Shelling along the seashore
- Sam Houston Jones State Park
Originally, the Seafood Trail was designed to encourage local Louisianians to explore their area during the pandemic since traveling across state lines was shut down. It created opportunities for residents to discover hidden gems in their area. As quarantine ended, the trail can be followed by residents and tourists alike. It provides a connection between nature, the seafood industry and other businesses in Lake Charles.
Emily Maung-Douglass, former Public Engagement Specialist with Louisiana Sea Grant, created signage with QR codes to post at each location. The QR codes will take users to a website that tells people about the location and the site’s connection to the Seafood Trail. “I am very excited to encourage people to visit and learn about seafood and nature in the local area.”
Maung-Douglass is hopeful that the Seafood Trail will engage residents and out-of-state tourists alike to get out and learn about the important connections between tourist destinations and the nature surrounding them.
For more information on the Louisiana Seafood Trail and Louisiana Sea Grant’s other work in ecotourism, visit: www.laseagrant.org/outreach/ecotourism/.