The Caddo Lake Ramsar Wetlands Center is located in Karnack, Texas on the grounds of the the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The Center opened in 2009 and features general information about Caddo Lake as well as the RAMSAR convention. The Refuge itself has a Visitors Center as well next door which focuses on the flora and fauna of the lands within the Refuge. Together, these two buildings offer visitors educational and interesting information about this unique area.
Funding support: Donations, grants, local, state and federal governments and agencies.
Number of staff: 3, supported by consultants, volunteers and government agency staff.
Number of visitors per year: 2,000
Overall aims of the centre
To inform and educate people on the value and role of wetlands, especially at Caddo Lake.
Description of the centre
The Wetlands Centre is a one-room, octagonal building that features general information about the RAMSAR convention and Caddo Lake in the form of graphic posters and take-away materials. Caddo Lake is comprised of 20,000 acres of wetlands and watershed that drains to the wetlands. It is one of the best examples of a mature, flooded bald cypress forest in the Southern U.S, with trees in excess of 400 years old.
It is also a refuge for wildlife, some of which is considered rare, threatened or endangered, including the alligator snapping turtle and eastern big-eared bat. The Centre was renamed after Dwight K. Shellman, Jr. in 2014.
Main CEPA work areas
Education of the local community and visitors through educational materials and community meetings.
Top three successes
The Wetlands Center opened on 26th September 2009 in conjunction with the opening of the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge which was land formerly a part of the decommissioned Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP.).
Caddo Lake Institute was instrumental in refurbishing and relocating the disused army guardhouse from the LHAAP for use as the Center.
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