Sanctuary Plan


The project will create new wetlands to protect a unique national resource, the largest known Purple Martin roost in the world. The wetlands will be formed by the construction of a series of barrier islands which will protect newly created marsh, mud flats, and shell and sand beaches. The project will create fresh and brackish water environments. It will create shore, marsh and land habitats for all native and migratory birds.

Project Swallow will be surrounded by Purple Martin houses which will be used for the swallow to raise their young. Barn swallows will nest within the Sanctuary. It will be on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain, the largest, fresh-water estuary in the world and it will be at the base of the Causeway Bridge, the longest bridge in the world.

Birds eye view of SanctuaryThe project site is located just west of the Causeway bridge toll plaza along the Metairie lake shore. The site occupies approximately 36 acres of existing lake bottom extending about 1,800 feet along the shore and about 800 feet into the lake north of the shoreline. The project site is within our newly created Lake Pontchartrain State Bird Sanctuary.

The major visitor access facilities including the visitor center, parking area and the roost overlook are concentrated in the southeast end of the Sanctuary. The northwestern portions of the Sanctuary are less accessible and are dedicated to the sanctuary of the timid birds. Many birds, in particular the Purple Martins that roost under the Causeway bridge, live in close association with human activities. Therefore the habitats that relate directly to the visitor center and walkways will not be lacking of birds.

The Sanctuary will serve pedestrians, bike riders, automobiles and buses. The Linear Park is an actively used walking and bike trail that would serve as a collector along the lakefront to provide pedestrian access. Auto access will be from Causeway Boulevard and arrangements for free parking have been secured at the Lakeway III garage for visitors who come to the site after 5:00 p.m.

An award-winning plan for the Sanctuary has been designed, economic projections developed, and land and water-bottom leases and permits obtained. In addition to its substantial local membership, "Project Swallow" has built a base of members throughout the U.S. and Canada. The group has worked collaboratively with local and national organizations including the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Save Our Lake Basin Foundation, local and state government agencies and many others. The project has also received tremendous support and recognition on all levels. Funding has been provided by corporate sponsors and material support has been promised by local government agencies.


If you want to help, write us at: Project Swallow, P.O. Box 7066, Metairie, LA USA 70010-7066
Copyright by NWR -- This page last updated September, 2002


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