Compendium of Coastal, Wetland, and Restoration Information

General Resources about the Coast, Wetlands and Restoration Efforts

Louisiana Wetlands: Functions and Values – CD-ROM (CWPPRA/USGS)
Presentations on wetlands functions and values, coastal wetlands land loss and restoration, the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and wetlands conservation opportunities statewide. Contact: DNR, 800-267-4019 or click on “Email LaCoast” on Grades 6-12.

Louisiana Coastal Facts (DNR)
Summary of important facts about population, marsh acreage, commerce, fishing, eco-tourism and other pertinent topics.

Restoration Program Background (DNR)
Introduces major causes of wetland loss, valuable resources provided by the wetlands, current coastal restoration programs, coastal restoration project implementation, and project types.

Coastal Louisiana – Coloring Book (CWPPRA/USGS)
Four pictures of coastal Louisiana that can be printed out to color or colored online (requires Flash).

Louisiana Wetlands: An American Resource – Activities (CWPPRA/USGS)
Uses the WaterMarks publication as a source for WebQuest questions.

Teacher Workshop Presentation on the LA Coast (CWPPRA/USGS)
PowerPoint presentation with notes, put together by staff from the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act. Slightly out-dated (pre-Katrina). Good graphics and explanations. NOTE: The two contact people noted at the end of the presentation no longer work for CWPPRA.

Salt Marsh Habitat of the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary – Activity Book (BTNEP)
Written from Clawdette the Crab's perspective. Follow Clawdette through the estuary. To obtain a copy call 800-259-0869. Grades 1-4. Free upon request.

Caring for Coastal Wetlands (CWPPRA/USGS)
Brochure on the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act.

EstuaryLive! – Activities (BTNEP)
Investigates the rich bounty of organisms in the Barataria-Terrebonne ecosystem, the delicate balance between the natural environment and human impacts, and the estuary’s importance to the nation.

  • The Watersheds of the National Estuary Program - Map depicts watersheds of the continental U.S. and their respective estuaries. Grades 3-12.
  • The BTNEP Location Map for EstuaryLive! - Map of the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary System.
  • Travels of Jean Lafitte - World map showing all the locations visited by Jean Lafitte. Grades 6-12.
  • Salt Marsh Activity Book: Where is the BTNEP Estuary? - A map students can color-bynumber showing where the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary is relative to the state of Louisiana.
  • Salt Marsh Activity Book: What is an Estuary? - Color-by-number map shows different types of water found in an estuary.
  • Salt Marsh Activity Book: The Spongy Marsh - Line drawings with measurements help students imagine the impact of a storm surge with / without wetland protection.

EstuaryLive! – Video Clips (BTNEP)
Investigates the rich bounty of organisms in the Barataria-Terrebonne ecosystem, the delicate balance between the natural environment and human impacts, and the estuary’s importance to the nation.

  • Elmer’s Island and Community Involvement (Clip 9) - Shows students participating in the Coastal Roots Program. David Bourgeois demonstrates how students grow seeds and then plant what they grow.
  • Jean Lafitte (Clip 10) - Kerry St. Pé explains how valuable the coastal areas were to Jean Lafitte.
    “Wetlands are the treasures,” says St. Pé.

Haunted Waters – Video Clips (BTNEP)
An award winning documentary on the cultural, geologic, and environmental history of the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary System.

  • People and the Environment (Clip 2) - Introduces the estuary, the environment of the Mississippi Delta and the people who live there.
  • Growing Economy (Clip 5) - Depicts the planting, harvesting and processing of sugar cane in the early days of the local economy.
  • Ethnic Influences (Clip 16) - Shows aspects of life on Grand Isle in the late 1800’s and some of the cultural influences from around the world.

Bayou Lafourche: The Longest Street in the World – Video Clips (BTNEP)
This documentary captures the history, culture, lifestyle, environmental troubles and emerging ecological solutions of the 100-mile ribbon of bayou that weaves through the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary.

  • Bayou History-Head of the Bayou (Clip 2) - Describes the early days of steamboat traffic connecting Bayou Lafourche to the rest of the world.

Vanishing Wetlands, Vanishing Future – Video Clips (BTNEP)
This video on BTNEP’s seven priority problems is in the style of Bill Nye the Science Guy and is best suited for middle school, though the vocabulary is applicable to high school topics.

  • Mississippi Delta (Clip 2) - Explains the formation of the Mississippi Delta and the principles of
    hydrologic modification.
  • Government Involvement (Clip 9) - Outlines some of the political considerations of water management in south Louisiana. NOTE: Some of the material in this clip has changed, and new technology has been developed since this film was made. Mike Robichaux is no longer our State Senator.
  • Student's Views on Wetlands (Clip 10) - Students express their feelings about losing our wetlands. The teacher explains her use of three processes to teach her Wetlands Unit: handson inquiry based lessons, technology, and culminating activities in visual and performing arts.

The JASON Project: Disappearing Wetlands – Curriculum
Explains what wetlands are, why they are disappearing, and how best to manage these ecosystems in your neighborhood, in Louisiana, and around the world. Cost and ordering information are provided. Grades 4-8.

Wetlands Education – Activities (EPA)
A wide variety of resources for wetlands education. Grades K-12.

Spirit of the Estuary: Using Art to Understand Ecology – Activities (BTNEP)
A multi-disciplinary curriculum that addresses wetland environmental issues through the integration of fine art, language art, science, and social studies. Grades 6-12.

  • I Am an Estuarian (Activity 1-1) - Poetry is used to describe the biotic factors and organisms of the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary, as well as its people and culture.
  • Rhythm of the Tides (Activity 1-5) - Basic music rhythms help illustrate the concepts of tidal movement and how the tides are related to movements of the earth, moon and sun.
  • The Landscape of the Estuary (Activity 1-6) - Focus is on the natural and human-made landscape features of the estuary, particularly the ridges, bayous and associated settlements. Students explore their own built environment through field trips and art, creating maps and artwork to compile tourism brochures that highlight natural and human-made features of interest.
  • Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, File' Gumbo (Activity 1-12) - Students create an authentic Southern Louisiana-style cookbook, with recipes, cultural stories and illustrations, and identify the impact the estuary has on local culture and cooking.
  • The World's Greatest Sculptor (Activity 2-7) - Sculpture enables students to design a river system, learning in the process about riparian life, erosion and its effects on the landscape.
  • Doin' What Comes Naturally: Naturalist? Artist? Or Both? (Activity 2-8) - In observing, drawing and journaling about nature, students learn a variety of drawing and sketching techniques and discuss the importance of careful, accurate drawings of the natural world. Works of naturalists are studied and students use journal entries to reflect on field experiences.
  • Nature's Art (Activity 2-9) - Students discern how art materials are derived from natural sources and how feelings can be communicated through artwork. Artwork is analyzed and the impact artwork has on people’s perception of the estuary is discussed.
  • Mamas, Your Babies Grow Up to Be ___ (Activity 2-10) - Cultural heritage is examined through art and history. Students design a class mural depicting scenes from estuary life and ask viewers how they are affected by the mural.
  • Cajun Music: Traduire (“to translate”) (Activity 2-11) - Cajun French words are translated into English. Students describe how Cajun musicians relate with the wetland environment and interpret Cajun lyrics into their own words.
  • Bals De Maison (“house dances”) (Activity 2-12) - Students observe Cajun dance styles and learn how Cajuns have used dance and music as sources of entertainment and socializing, even as the wetlands isolated Cajun culture.
  • From the Cane Field to the Easel: The Mystery of the Blue Dog (Activity 2-14) - Using the work of Cajun artist George Rodrique as inspiration, students study works by Pollock, Warhol and Munch. They create their own pop art image to include elements of the estuarine environment.
  • Music Makers (Activity 3-1) - Students research Cajun and Zydeco music, and interview local musicians to get their perspectives on Louisiana’s wetlands.
  • Commercials for the Coast (Activity 3-2) - Wetlands vocabulary is used to write a “jingle” that teaches about wetlands.
  • Who Knows? The Shadow Puppets Do! (Activity 3-3) - Priority problems in the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary System are identified and students research them in depth. Focus questions are brought to life using puppetry, including all aspects of staging.
  • Honk If You Love the Wetlands (Activity 3-4) - Functions and values of wetlands are outlined, and students design and share a communication strategy to make others aware of the importance of wetlands.
  • Pass the Word - Creating an Environmental Action Brochure (Activity 3-5) - Computer technology is employed to produce an action brochure informing citizens of the seven priority wetland issues and encouraging them to take action.
  • Estuary Extra! Your Own Environmental Newspaper (Activity 3-6) - Students brainstorm ideas for newspaper topics, select departments of the newspaper in which to work, and plan, design, edit and publish a student newspaper.
  • Musical Meaning (Activity 3-7) - Students research songs about the wetlands and interpret lyrics.
  • And Then a Hero Comes Along (Activity 3-8) - Students identify and research people recognized for contributions to preservation of the environment, specifically of the estuary.

Wetland Issues – CDs (BTNEP)

  • Exploring Coastal Louisiana with Boudreaux and Marie
    Interactive CD-ROM addressing coastal wetland issues in Louisiana. A component of the CDROM
    focuses on Barataria-Terrebonne and showcases its ecological, economic, and cultural
    importance. Bird and animal identification and wetland quizzes promote interaction and learning.
    Boudreaux’s camp has a map room, a kids’ room, and many other surprises. Developed jointly by
    BTNEP, CWPPRA, and the USGS National Wetlands Research Center. Lesson plans available
    on the root directory of the CD. To request your CD, contact <>.
  • Thibodeaux's Treasure
    Interactive CD invites elementary school children to learn about our wetlands as they join Jeanne
    Thibodeaux and Tee Boudreaux on a treasure hunt journey. This CD will teach basic skills and
    inspire coastal stewardship through a cartoon learning environment. To request your CD, contact
    <>. Grades K-4.

Educator’s Guide to the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary – Activities (BTNEP)
The BTNEP Educator’s Guide to the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary is a comprehensive, downloadble source of information and activities for formal and nonformal educators. Grades K-12.

  • Habitat Lap Sit (Activity 1-3) - Highlights the importance of a habitat. This lesson requires cooperation from all class members. Grade 4.
  • Wetlands in a Pan (Activity 1-4) - Demonstrates the functions of a wetland. Students create models, test them, and evaluate their effectiveness. Grades 3-4.
  • We are Losing Our Wetlands (Activity 1-5) - Students visualize how much of our wetlands are being lost. The use of measurement and calculations are incorporated in this lesson. Grades 3-4.
  • Wetland Metaphors (Activity 1-6) - Uses metaphors to simulate the functions of the wetlands.
    Common household objects are used to create wetland metaphors. Grade 7.
  • Estuary Ecosystems (Activity 1-7) - Comparison activity where students research other estuaries and compare them to BTNE. Informational research skills are incorporated in this activity. Grades 7-8.
  • Wetland Eco-Bingo (Activity 1-8) - Game that covers all areas of the BTNE habitat and ecosystem, this is a great review activity. Grade 5.
  • A Bayou Journey in 1880 (Activity 1-16) - Guided imagery helps students relax and listen as the teacher reads the story, “A Bayou Journey to Last Island in 1880.” Grade 5.
  • The Great Marsh Dilemma (Activity 1-17) - Helps students understand the many aspects of the problems of wetland loss in Louisiana. Students role-play members of the community. Grades 7, HS Biol, HS Env Sci.
  • Where is the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary? (Activity 1-2) - Students identify major waterway areas in the BTNEP area using a beach ball and a large table cloth to create a map of the region. Grades K-2.
  • Ask an Expert (Activity 4-2) - Incorporates oral history to show changes that have occurred to our coastal areas. Students conduct oral history interviews about how the Louisiana coast has changed during their lifetimes. Grades 4, 5, 7, 8, HS Biol.
  • Weaving Our Wetland Economic Web (Activity 5-1) - Focuses on our coastal economy, both renewable and nonrenewable. Students list local economic activities, conduct a survey, and develop a concept map. Grades 5 & 7.

Lessons on the Lake – Curriculum (LPBF/SLU/NOAA)
Interactive tool to learn more about watersheds, in particular the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin, in Louisiana, is part of the much larger Mississippi River watershed which covers more than half of the United States. Grades 5-12.

360 Degree Views of Bayou Sauvage Project Sites (CWPPRA/USGS)
Two views of Bayou Sauvage project sites. You can see in 360 degrees by moving the mouse.

Lafourche Parish: From the Beginning – Activities (BTNEP)
A comprehensive guide to Lafourche Parish, its history, culture, and resources. Activities will help students better understand this important Louisiana parish. All files are in Adobe format and completely downloadable from this site. Grades 6-12.

  • What is Happening to Our Coast - Describes the coastal environment and how it changes under natural and human influences.
  • Creating a Wetscape Activity - Students make their own watershed to see how their water systems can be affected by what others do. Grades 5-8.
  • Coastal Morphology - Describes distinct habitats within the coastal ecosystem.
  • History of the Mississippi River - Presents deltaic processes and their consequences.
  • Healthy Estuary - Ten focus questions and 34 indicators are used to present an overview of the environmental health of the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary System. Grades 7-8.
  • Healthy Estuary Activity - Students use an estuary guide booklet to answer a series of questions on estuary health.
  • Louisiana Seafood - History of and distinctions among fishing practices, harvesting methods, catch types and production values.
  • Shrimp and Shellfish- Worksheet on commercial fishing practices.
  • Function of the Wetlands - Flow chart graphically depicts aspects of wetland function.
  • When You Were My Age - Oral history reflects the true experience of a people and affords an opportunity for students to communicate with those who have witnessed the current history of an area.
  • A Bit of History - History of the Cut Off Canal and its importance to Bayou Lafourche.

Freshwater Ecoregions of the World (WWF/TNC)
Covering virtually all freshwater habitats on Earth, this first-ever ecoregion map, together with associated species data, is a useful tool. It can be used to build a foundation for global and regional conservation planning efforts, to identify outstanding and imperiled freshwater systems, to create a logical framework for large-scale conservation strategies, and to provide a global-scale knowledge base for increasing freshwater biogeographic literacy.

Coastal Louisiana – Activities (NOAA)
Information on coastal Louisiana provides the opportunity to color, connect the dots, solve mazes, try word searches and more. Grades K-4.

Estuary Characteristics (USN)
Illustrated diagrams of estuaries and descriptions of their characteristics.

Exploring Estuaries (EPA)
An interactive website where students can learn factual information about estuaries, take a virtual tour of an estuary, and solve an estuary mystery.

Web mapping portal provides access to real-time meteorological, oceanographic, and river observations from a variety of federal, state, and university observing networks. Users may access immediate information to complement lessons on a specific estuary or coastal region, or to support general lessons on weather forecasting, watersheds, water quality, and physical oceanography.

Estuaries: Where Rivers Meet the Sea – Activities (NOAA)
This site has two purposes: 1) Provide information on National Estuaries Day activities, such as EstuaryLive! and local National Estuarine Research Reserve and National Estuary Program events; 2) Serve as a long-term resource on the importance of estuaries and the need to protect them.

Estuaries – Tutorial (NOAA)
An overview of estuarine habitats, the threats facing them, and efforts to monitor and protect estuaries nationwide.

Seagrass Scientists (NOAA)
Learn about the jobs that estuarine scientists and wildlife biologists perform by simulating a sampling method that measures the health of a seagrass community over time.

What is a Watershed? – Videos
Three educational videos about watersheds: “What is a Watershed?”, “Everyone Impacts a Watershed”, and “Potential Sources of Pollution”.

Locate Your Watershed (EPA)
Locate your watershed by entering your ZIP code or the name of a stream, city, tribe, lake, school, or airport. Find out what citizen groups are actively trying to protect your watershed, what role your watershed plays in the national watershed network, current water use data, and more.

Wetlands Reading List (EPA)
Annotated list of reading materials for grades PreK-12.

Tides Tutorial (NOAA)
Overview of the complex systems that govern the movement of tides and water levels. The Roadmap to Resources complements the information in the tutorial by directing you to additional information and data from NOAA and other reliable sources.

Wetlands Affect You and Me – Activities (EPA)
Extensive curriculum guide includes information addressing the designing of a wetland, generation of organic matter, observation and inventory of wetland soils and organisms, the construction of an aquarium, the process of wetland destruction, and the preparation and consumption of a cattail. Grades 4-6.

The Young Scientist’s Introduction to the Wetlands (EPA)
General information, illustration, and diagrams on the wetland ecosystem, including different terms for different wetland habitats, the array of plant and animal life found in wetland habitats, and the range of professions involved in wetlands work and research. Grades 4-6.

Estuary Activity Kit (EPA)
Information on common toxic chemicals found in households, the problem of hypoxia, research on average water use, the process of erosion and sedimentation, and the importance of wetland wildlife, such as waterfowl. Many activities include the construction of models of certain structures, such as estuaries and wetland habitats. Grades 5-7.

Wetlands: Nature’s Water Wonders – Curriculum (EPA)
Comprehensive information on wetland habitats. These materials stress the importance of human interaction with wetlands, illustrate the web of living and nonliving inhabitants of wetlands through role-play, and offer various forms of assessment for wetland activities. Grades 5-7.

Let the Cattail out of the Bag – Activity (EPA)
Students encounter a “touchy-feely” bag full of wetland objects while blindfolded, in order to gain a better understanding of the sensory experiences associated with wetland habitats. Students must then hypothesize on what they felt and smelled. Grades K-6.

Wetland in a Pan – Activity (EPA)
Using clay, carpet scraps, soil, and muddy water, students make a model wetland that demonstrates the flood-buffering and filtering effects which take place in wetland areas. Grades 3-12.

Wetland Metaphors – Activity (EPA)
In identifying the ecological functions of wetlands, students use common household items, such as sponges, antacid tablets, soap, small pillows, etc. to represent objects in the wetlands and their functions. Grades K-12.

Coastal Louisiana – Activity Book (NOAA)
Provides information on Coastal Louisiana and the opportunity to color, connect the dots, solve mazes, try word searches and more. Grades K-4.

Catch A Wave – Activity
Students use online real-time data to guide their discovery of the causes and effects of ocean waves and tides. Grades 6-12.

More Than Just A Swamp – Puzzle (EPA)
Wetland terminology is provided with an interactive crossword puzzle.

Wetlands Transects (SEA)
Students place transect lines beside a local stream or river, then record species of plants and insects living around the waterway. Students learn transect techniques and other sampling methods, and compare species diversity and density among transects.

Currents Tutorial (NOAA)
Overview of the types of ocean currents, what causes them, how they are measured, and how they affect our lives, including animations.

Functions and Values of Wetlands in Louisiana – Bulletin (LSUAC)

Overview of wetlands in Louisiana.

Portrait of an Estuary – Bulletin (LSUAC)
Description of Louisiana estuaries.

Eco Pros Wetlands – Activities
Interactive website provides basic information about wetlands along with lesson plans and activities.

Ready, Set, Get Wet – Activities (EPA)
Various activities include a picture search, preparation tips for visiting a wetland area, experiments involving growing wetland algae and designing wetland models, and constructing a food web. Grades 3-5.

Secondary-level WebQuest teaches more about Louisiana wetlands.

America’s Wetland Education Page (AWF)
Student-friendly website includes teacher resources.