Eco-tourism has come to mean experiencing the pristine beauty of nature's glory while leaving as little mark on the place as possible. Louisiana's coastline represents this balancing act between experience and treading lightly. The recent oil spill brought this balancing act into crisis mode, to protect and preserve nature as part of our way of life - for nature's bountiful harvest in our amazing cuisine and for outdoor adventures we love to share with tourists. Immediate action helped contain the damage, and through the nature-based, eco-tourism adventures we recommend such as fishing and kayaking/paddling, you can experience the natural beauty of the Louisiana coast and take home memories of your journey.
Eco-Tourism Opportunities Across Louisiana’s Coast
With 20 amazing national wildlife refuges, along with a dozen and a half state parks, Louisiana has more than its share of eco-tourism opportunities. It provides locals and out-of-state visitors with endless miles of hiking and biking trails, along with vast lands for birding and exploring.
It also has long canoe trails, making it the ultimate paradise for any sportsman. The unique fauna and flora provide amazing opportunities for activities outdoors where everyone can enjoy the unique environment only provided by Louisiana.
All throughout Louisiana, and especially along the coastline, eco-tourism activities include walking and biking on trails, swamp tours, deep-sea charter fishing, recreational fishing along the inland waterways, and extensive birding opportunities. Throughout the year, Louisiana is home to more than half of the birds that reside in North America, along with visiting migrations of South and Central America bird species.
Additionally, there has a been a resurgence of agri-tourism, where many small communities are driving their local economies with the agriculture that is grown throughout their area. New eco-tourism opportunities are beginning to become quite popular, including tours of food businesses and working farms.
Outdoor Recreation Opportunities
Recent studies indicate that nearly four out of every 10 Americans enjoys outdoor recreation of some kind. Here in Louisiana, it is at least that percentage, or higher. Nearly one million people fish or hunt in Louisiana every year. From that, the state of Louisiana enjoys a direct influx of well over $1.5 billion every year, increasing local and statewide jobs, and enhancing many businesses that support both the hunting and fishing industries.
Some of the best saltwater fishing in the world is available on the Louisiana coastline. Many of the parishes along the Gulf Coast are marketing eco-tourism by promoting many activities including deep-sea fishing charters, paddling tours, and recreational fishing sites along with annual festivals and events.
By far, one of the most advantageous benefits of enhancing Louisiana’s eco-tourism opportunities is its rich ingrained diversity of cultures. Many of the individuals and families that live along the Louisiana coast, that have been threatened by storms and erosion have adapted well to the ever-changing coastline.
The local fishermen, boat charter companies, swamp people, and local communities all help to promote both the tourism industry, and the need for stewardship of all of Louisiana’s natural resources.
Most of the local communities along the Louisiana coastline have held onto many of the nuances and traditions of the local culture unique to the state. Because of that, local eco-tourism efforts have made the most out of enhancing the unique culture.
The natural beauty that is Louisiana is unlike any other place on earth. From the rich activity of Bayou country, to the amazing fishing opportunities on many inland waterways, to the rich coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana has it all. With its amazing array of state parks and natural refuges, along with the stunningly beautiful coastline, the state of Louisiana has many outdoor activities to offer everyone.