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More information about the Caddo Lake Institute is located at the main Caddo Lake Institute Homepage.

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Lake Current Events

This site is the Technical Archive/Data Server.


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Caddo Lake & "The Institute"

The Caddo Lake  wetland ecosystem is a large, shallow, wetland complex located at the bottom of the Cypress Creek watershed of  Texas and Louisiana, in the south central region of the United States, approximately 180km east of Dallas, Texas.  The climate of this region is subtropical with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Composed of one of the largest remaining cypress-tupelo community assemblages in the region, these wetlands exhibit high biodiversity of plants and animals, as well as an important sports fishery and waterfowl and songbird migratory habitat that is a key link in  flyways stretching from South America to the Arctic. In 1993 Caddo Lake was designated as a "wetland of international importance", under the so-called Ramsar Convention, through the collaborative efforts of the state of Texas, the U.S. Department of Interior and the Caddo Lake Institute.

Caddo Lake Institute, Inc. is a private operating foundation underwritten by Don Henley, a noted American musician-environmentalist who grew up in this region. The role of the Institute is to act as an "ecosystem-specific" sponsor and technical support entity, underwriting local wetland science and conservation expertise and training, as well as cultural and ecological research and monitoring. Its mission is to "protect and improve the ecological and cultural integrity of the Caddo Lake ecosystem".

The Institute's Caddo Lake Scholars and Pathfinder Programs are wetland stewardship projects intended to demonstrate exemplary fulfillment, at the local level, of Ramsar technical guidance to foster the "wise use of wetlands" worldwide. These include  a broad array of capacity-building activities, for example:.  

  • Maintenance of this  data server and a physical library archive of technical reports and gray literature about Caddo Lake and its watershed.
  • The jointly-funded "Brisbane Pledge" --made in 1996 by the U.S. Government and the Institute to the 120 Ramsar nations--to establish the "Caddo Lake Ramsar Wetland Science Center" at leased facilities at Longhorn.
  • Co-authorship of internationally adopted Ramsar guidance on Participation of local and indigenous communities in wetland management.
  • Local participation at national and international Conferences the Parties (CoPs) to the Ramsar Convention.
  • Facilitation of the creation of the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge at the 8500- acre Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant on the shores of Caddo Lake.
  • Training of local residents to teach visitors to identify and report invasive plants to local contacts to aid in interdiction and suppression.
  • Significant investments to protect freshwater inflow and storage.
  • The Caddo Lake Ramsar Treaty between 4 local organizations establishing a community-based wetland management "clearinghouse" framework
  •  The Caddo Lake Clearinghouse for Community-based Coordination of  Caddo Lake's  Ramsar wetlands.
  • Scientific and Technical Review Panel of locally- knowledgeable scientists to inform local and agency management coordination. 
  • GIS mapping of the wetlands and the basin; 
  • Academic scientists performance of basin-wide agency monitoring programs.
  • Texas Sponsorship of Wetland Education for Teachers (WET) an internationally recognized entry-level wetland curriculum that that trains hundreds Texas facilitators and teachers each year.
  • Hazard spill "drill" and related biological sensitivity mapping, 
  • Caddo Indian archeological  excavations with tribal and academic researchers and students.
  • Public Speaker's Programs and Wetland Discovery Days.
  • Wetland science training of educators, locally & abroad. 
  • Field water monitoring networks for teachers and students.
  • Ramsar based "wetland intern" training for science teachers and students at local colleges and public schools.

These activities are designed to emphasize the Ramsar call for "wise, sustainable use" of wetlands worldwide, by encouraging local residents to "act globally by acting locally"





© 2002, Caddo Lake Institute, Inc. All Rights Reserved.