The Creole Nature Trail’s coastal wetlands are as powerful an economic engine as they are an environmental force.
Annually, these industries — so intrinsically related to this environment — generate an economic impact of $40 billion on the United States economy. Directly or indirectly they affect the lives of most Americans.
An Engine for Energy: Oil & Gas
Looking out from the beaches along the Creole Nature Trail All American Road, you can see oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, a reminder of the vital resources available here, and the vast engineering efforts necessary to harvest these precious commodities.
Rich in reserves, the Louisiana's coastal waters produce more than 80% of the nation’s oil and 25% of the nations foreign oil comes ashore on Louisiana’s roads and waterways.
The coastal zone also contains:
- the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port
- more than 43,000 oil and gas wells
- two storage sites for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
- and the Henry Hub, one of the nation's major natural gas distribution centers
"Pearl" of the Gulf: Oystering
Loved by chefs and gourmets the world over, oyster harvesting is a significant industry in Southwest Louisiana. Annually, Louisiana’s oyster farmers harvest more than 10 million pounds.
Certain nutrient-rich waters produce larger, tastier oysters and Louisiana’s oyster farmers “seed” these waters where the undeveloped oysters mature in as little as nine months.
If you love oysters, be sure to enjoy some Louisiana oysters and check out the oyster recipes at LouisianaSeafood.com.
In the distance, they look like boats with wings — commercial shrimping vessels with their large side-anchored nets. Each year, Louisiana harvests over 100 million pounds of shrimp that is then shipped and eaten all over the country.
Both brown and white shrimp breed in the wetlands and nutrient-rich estuary Gulf environments.
Shrimp are a good source of protein as well as omega-3, selenium and vitamin B12. Shrimp are also naturally low in saturated fat. For recipes for cooking the Louisiana shrimp you bring or ship home from your Creole Nature Trail adventure visit LouisianaSeafood.com.
Although blue crabs are often associated with Delaware or Maryland, if you’ve eaten crab on the East Coast, chances are good it’s actually from Louisiana. Louisiana is the top shipper of live male crabs to the Atlantic coast market. In the roadside canals you will also see ball-shaped floats marking commercial crab traps. Commercial crabbers run these lines daily and sell the sweet Louisiana blue crabs to local restaurants as well as fly them to restaurants and markets around the United States!