Need for Sanctuary

A Sanctuary is needed for the 200,000 Purple Martins that make the New Orleans area their spring and summer home. It is needed for the six million Purple Martins that pass through this area twice a year on their great migratory adventure. Purple Martin Migration RouteIt is needed for the thirty million other swallows that feed and migrate through the area. It is needed for all the other North American migratory birds that pass through this area twice each year.

This natural, migratory phenomenon does not occur anywhere else in the world. New Orleans is at the terminal end of the great Mississippi Valley Flyway. It is a bird's last chance to refuel on its flight down to South America, and its first chance to replenish its diminished reserve on the way back.

The Sanctuary will include a rehabilitation center for wild birds which will heal injured, sick or orphaned birds. A pilot program for the rehabilitation center was established in Houma, LA. in 1995 where over the last several years the program has had a success rate approaching 100 percent.

A major element of the Sanctuary that is not obvious by looking at the master plan drawings is the emphasis placed upon interpretive facilities that will tell the meaning of the Sanctuary, the Purple Martin and related topics in an educational and entertaining way. The interpretive facilities will occur in the visitor center and continue along the walkways of the Sanctuary.

An economic analysis by Jefferson Economic Development Commission estimated that the Sanctuary will attract 500,000 visitors each year. This will have a $100 million beneficial impact for the economy. It will create 1,500 new jobs and increase local tax revenues by $8.4 million per year, with a like amount going to the state.

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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