The Atchafalaya Basin stretches from the Baton Rouge area 140 miles south to the coast of Louisiana. It is the nation's largest river swamp, containing almost one million acres of vibrant bottomland hardwoods, swamps, bayous, and backwater lakes. In this ecologically significant area, estimates show that close to 22 million pounds of crawfish is commercially harvested annually from the basin. “Atchafalaya” (Think of a sneeze: uh-CHA-fuh-lie-uh) is an American-Indian word meaning long river. Established in 2006, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area stretches across 14 parishes in south-central Louisiana. It is among the most culturally rich and ecologically varied regions in the United States, home to the widely recognized Cajun culture as well as a diverse population of European, African, Caribbean and Native-American descent. With a story around every bend in the river and music from every corner, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is an ever-changing landscape. Learn more about the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.