February 18, 2007
The 11,038-acre Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge located in Mississippi County was established in 1915 to provide habitat and protection for migrating and wintering birds. Over the years, the mission has been expanded to protect endangered species. The area was a free-flowing river until the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12 resulted in a sunken area that evolved into a lake/swamp ecosystem. Today, the natural area is a refuge for many species of animals.