Barataria Bay [lower right] is a bay of the Gulf of Mexico that is located between Empire and Grand Isle, Louisiana [enlarge].

Barataria Bay (French: Baie de Barataria), also Barrataria Bay, is a bay of the Gulf of Mexico, about 15 miles (24 km) long and 12 miles (19 km) wide, in southeastern Louisiana, in Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish, United States. It is separated from the gulf by two barrier islands, Grand Isle and Grand Terre.[1]

The bay takes its name from the Spanish novel Don Quixote, in which the insula Barataria, or Barataria island, appears as a fictional territory governed by Sancho Panza.[2][3]


The bay is indented and marshy, with many islands. The surrounding low-lying Barataria country, south of New Orleans and west of the Mississippi River Delta, is noted for its shrimp industry (based at villages built on pilings above the coastal marshes), muskrat trapping, natural gas wells, oil wells, and sulfur production. Its inlet is connected to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway system.[1]

History and economy

Barataria Bay was used in the early 19th century as the base of pirates, privateers, and smugglers led by the pirate Jean Lafitte.[4] They were referred to as the Baratarians.

Today the bay is a notable source of shrimp and sulfur, as well as of muskrat fur, natural gas, and petroleum.

Until Hurricane Betsy made landfall in 1965, Barataria Bay was home to Manila Village.[5]

Barataria Bay along with Biloxi Marsh, Pointe-au-Chien and Adam’s Bay since 2014 have been part of an oyster shell recycling program to build reefs and protect against erosion and create marine habitats.[6]

2010 oil spill

Crews work to control the damaged wellhead spewing oil into the waters of Barataria Bay.

On 27 July 2010, the tugboat Pere Ana C. struck an abandoned wellhead owned by Houston-based Cedyco Corp, while pulling a barge near Bayou St. Denis in Barataria Bay, causing a 20-to-100-foot (6.1 to 30.5 m) oil and gas geyser.[7][8]

The geyser was brought under control and the wellhead was repaired and capped on 1 August 2010, five days after the collision.[9][10]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Barataria Bay - inlet, Louisiana, United States". Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  2. ^ Leeper, Clare D'Artois (19 October 2012). Louisiana Place Names: Popular, Unusual, and Forgotten Stories of Towns, Cities, Plantations, Bayous, and Even Some Cemeteries. LSU Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8071-4740-5.
  3. ^ "How swampy Barataria got its name: A letter to the editor". Greater New Orleans. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  4. ^ William C. Davis (2004). Lone Star Rising: The Revolutionary Birth of the Texas Republic. Free Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-684-86510-2. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  5. ^ Ginn, Chris (24 July 2008). "Revered Remnants". Louisiana Sportsman Magazine. Sportsman Magazines. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  6. ^ WILKINSON, MISSY. "Want to protect the coast? There's a new oyster shell recycling drop-off site in New Orleans". Retrieved 2023-01-08.
  7. ^ The Associated Press (27 July 2010). "Louisiana Oil Geyser: 20-Foot Oil Leak Shooting Up In Plaquemines Parish After Hit By Tugboat". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 29 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  8. ^ Rong-Gong Lin II (27 July 2010). "Gulf oil spill: New spill in Gulf area after barge crashes into abandoned oil well". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 30 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  9. ^ "Crews work to shut-in damaged wellhead". United States Coast Guard. 1 August 2010. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  10. ^ CNN wire staff (2 August 2010). "Leaking Barataria Bay oil well capped". CNN. Retrieved 2 August 2010. ((cite news)): |author= has generic name (help)

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