BRIEF Shreveport Aquarium and Caddo Lake
Shreveport Aquarium has a new partnership with the Caddo Lake Institute (CLI) to promote and support ongoing projects that protect the Caddo Lake Watershed.
Located 40 minutes west of Shreveport, Caddo Lake is the largest bald cypress forest in the United States. The area is internationally known for its exceptional wildlife diversity and recreational opportunities.
"The goal of this partnership is to help bring an awareness of Caddo Lake and the work of the Caddo Lake Institute to our aquarium visitors. It is a truly wondrous place and of great ecological significance. We feel that by educating our guests and encouraging them to visit the lake, they will recognize the asset they have in their own back yards and be compelled to love and protect it," says Jon Whitehead, co-founder of Planet Aqua Group.
Laura-Ashley Overdyke,* executive director of the CLI, says, "The new aquarium gives us an opportunity to raise and release prehistoric paddlefish into the Caddo Lake watershed. Our children will now get to see the oldest living species in North America, 50 million years older than the dinosaurs."
In addition to rearing and releasing paddlefish, the partnership will help: • Securing healthy water flows to Caddo Lake, • Improving water quality in the watershed, • Supporting public-private collaboration to control invasive species, like salvinia.
The CLI is a non-profit scientific and conservation organization founded in 1992. Over 25 years, the institute has convened pre-eminent hydrologists, biologists and conservation scientists and others to work collaboratively to improve the understanding and protection of this treasure.
The Shreveport Aquarium is expected to open mid-September. Its goal is to educate, inspire and delight children and adults about marine ecology and sustainable fish and wildlife. The interactive aquarium is on the banks of the Red River in downtown Shreveport. More information on the attraction can be found at www.shreveportaquarium.com.
*(Editor’s note: A profile on Laura- Ashley Overdyke was featured in the Aug. 2 edition of The Forum and may be read online at www.theforumnews.com.)