About Grand Isle
Grand Isle is Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island. As an early home to Native Americans then plantations and later the pirate Jean Lafitte, the island holds an important place in the history of Louisiana. But Grand Isle is much more than just history, it’s been home to locals for hundreds of years, people who have lived off the land and water raising their families and creating a unique culture.
Grand Isle and other barrier islands are literally the first line of defense to the destructive hurricanes that often batter Louisiana’s coast. Communities such as New Orleans with their 1.3 million people are protected by islands such as Grand Isle. Without barrier islands, the marsh and estuaries they protect are extremely vulnerable to storm damage and wetland loss.
Grand Isle is home to a robust shrimping, fishing and oyster industry. This productivity is a direct result of the Louisiana’s vast wetlands and estuaries that are protected by barrier islands like Grand Isle. 95 percent of all Gulf marine life spends at least a portion of its existence in Louisiana. The island also serves as a crucial feeding stop for migrating birds headed north from Latin America in the spring and then back south in the fall and an important habitat for many birds, including pelicans, wadingbirds and shorebirds.