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Breton and Chandeleur Sounds
Breton and Chandeleur Sounds are located just north of the Mississippi River delta and east of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. They form part of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. Breton Sound Basin is the remnant of a Mississippi River delta lobe, the abandoned St. Bernard Delta. The nearshore areas of both sounds are composed of a complex array of bayous, canals, channels and small embayments. Additionally, the mouth of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet Canal is located very near the boundary between the two sounds. With the exception of a few small islands (Breton Islands, Grand Gosier Island, Curlew Island), Breton Sound is open to the Gulf of Mexico. Chandeleur Sound, however, is somewhat separated from the Gulf waters by the Chandeleur Islands and their shallow seagrass beds.
Nearly all of the islands buffering Breton and Chandeleur Sounds from the Gulf of Mexico are part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. The area provides an important habitat for a variety of species, especially shorebirds.
Coordinates: 30.05° N 88.87° W
Selected Characteristics: (USEPA, 1999)
Surface Area: 5,403 km2
Drainage Area: 6,500 km2
Average Daily FW Inflow: 292 m3/s
Average Depth: 3.0 m
Average Salinity: 27 ppt
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation: 57 km2
USFW, 1982. Gulf Coast Ecological Inventory Map; Breton Sound, LA area. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1982.
USEPA. 1999. Ecological condition of estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico. EPA 620-R-98-004. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, Gulf Breeze, Florida. 80 pp.
LACoast. Located on the web at: http://www.lacoast.gov/cwppra/projects/breton/
LACoast - Breton Sound Basin
Breton and Chandeleur Sound
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Breton National Wildlife Refuge
Keywords: Shorebirds, Bays, Estuaries, Island, Breton, Chandeleur, Sound
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