BioBlitz 2013 at Jean Lafitte
Wow---458 species identified---and more to come! (We're still identifying some of the trickier ones.) That was the number at the big reveal on Saturday, May 18, during the closing moments of BioBlitz at Jean Lafitte's Barataria Preserve. (If you didn't make it to BioBlitz, check out the coverage on Jean Lafitte's Facebook page.)
What's a BioBlitz? It's a partnership between the National Park Service and National Geographic where scientists, naturalists, and anyone with an interest in science and nature team up to see, count, identify, and map every plant and animal possible. It's a Biodiversity festival sharing the nature and cultures of Louisiana and featuring music, food, and exhibitors with hands-on activities.
What happened at the Jean Lafitte BioBlitz? Nearly 3,000 people from schoolkids to scientists walked trails, cruised bayous in boats, and looked high and low to find as many species as possible at the preserve. They also enjoyed the free Biodiversity Festival: they talked to scientists about their work, visited exhibitor booths to explore Louisiana from water bugs to black bears, joined the Animal Olympics, met cultural demonstrators in Art Alley, saw how rivers build deltas and erode land, listened for night noises, learned about climate change, and had an experience full of science, nature, and fun! Click here to see a BioBlitz video by Jefferson Parish staff (Jefferson Parish is where the Barataria Preserve is located).
But that was then, and this is now. How do you keep the adventure alive?
Did You Know?
Tourism has been big business in New Orleans for decades. Before the Civil War, the top must-see site on everyone's New Orleans list was its port, one of the world's busiest at the time. (Early 1800s guides for travelers actually used the term "must-see!")