Go Zero At Lake Ophelia And Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuges
Lake Ophelia NWR (named for the largest water body in the area) was established in 1988 to protect the important Mississippi/Red River floodplain ecosystem.
At A Glance
- Planted 245,000 oak, pecan and cypress trees across 814 acres
- Home to the Louisiana Black Bear
- Our efforts benefit climate, water quality, wildlife habitat and local jobs.
Did You Know?
"Every day, we hear about the impacts of deforestation in the Amazon or Indonesia but it’s happening in the Gulf Coast area too. Migratory bird populations have lost more than 24 million acres of bottomland hardwood forest habitat over the last century along the Red River and lower Mississippi River valleys. Habitat destruction is more pronounced here than in any other area of the United States." — Ray Herndon, Louisiana state director, The Conservation Fund
VIDEO: Heroes Of Go Zero
High above the Lake Ophelia and Grand Cote national wildlife refuges in central Louisiana, hundreds of thousands of birds quack and honk their way from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico and back. Known as the Mississippi Flyway, this blue migratory highway in the sky services millions of ducks, geese, shorebirds, blackbirds, sparrows, warblers and thrushes.
Many birds find shelter within the parks and wildlife refuges of central Louisiana. During the fall and winter, these habitats flood, thus setting the table for wintering waterfowl looking to plump up on high protein nuts and other foods. In late summer, the water recedes within open-water wetland pools, creating mudflats for migrating shorebirds.
However, over the past century, this wintering habitat has changed. Louisiana’s once lush forests and waterways have been cleared, dammed, leveed and drastically altered, leaving less habitat for our partners in flight.
Go Zero donors helped plant 245,000 oak, pecan and cypress trees across 814 acres of the Lake Ophelia and Grand Cote national wildlife refuges. In December 2010, Lake Ophelia and Grand Cote sites received gold validation and were certified by SCS Global Services. Planting and carbon monitoring services were provided by TerraCarbon LLC.
Wildlife: Eagles, ducks, geese, shorebirds, blackbirds, sparrows, warblers and thrushes as well as the Louisiana Black Bear.
Water: In the Mississippi/Red River floodplain – North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
Economy: Tree planting job creation, decreased impacts of flooding for farmers.
Recreation: Hiking, fishing, hunting and other recreational activities.
Standard: Gold level under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standard
Auditor: Scientific Certification Systems (SCS)
Conservation Partner: United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Project Design Documents: View the project design documents.
Forest carbon: Cannot be owned or claimed by any party as the forest matures.