All six sites of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve as well as all sites of New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park have reopened after Hurricane Isaac. Most sites reopened on Saturday, September 1. The New Orleans Jazz visitor center at Perseverance Hall reopened on Saturday, September 8. Hardest hit by the storm were Jean Lafitte’s Barataria Preserve and Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery.
At the battlefield and national cemetery, nearly 40 trees were downed or damaged by Hurricane Isaac. A National Park Service arborist crew arrived on September 2 and completed work at the site on September 9. Most challenging was a large sycamore tree that fell on the national cemetery superintendent’s lodge. Damage assessments to the lodge are underway. The battlefield and national cemetery reopened on September 9.
At the Barataria Preserve, flooding turned roads into waterways. Park staff canoed into the preserve on August 30, flew over on September 2, and were working on cleanup on September 4. Staff on the flyover observed substantial leaf loss but low frequency of severe damage to the swamp forest tree canopy. Although water sampling is done regularly at the preserve, additional sampling is underway to measure possible saltwater intrusion, pollutants, and post-storm habitat conditions. Trail damage is still being assessed and the arborist crew is at work clearing fallen trees from trails and waterways. The Barataria Preserve Visitor Center, the Visitor Center Trail, Ring Levee Trail, and Bayou Coquille/Marsh Overlook Trail have reopened as of September 12. All other areas in the preserve remain closed as recovery work continues; updates are posted as they are available at http://www.nps.gov/jela/parknews/emergency-closure-of-park-sites.htm