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Meet The Guides

Alexander J. Nash

Co-Founder/Operations Manager/Guide/Reception

AJ has a passion for the natural world and likes to start his day off slow with a cup a coffee while sitting on the porch watching the sun rise.

Aj speaking to a tourWhere will you find him on sunday? You might find him in a second line on Sunday.

Favorite local eats: If you want to know where to grab some great food, ask AJ!

Favorite Nola party spot: Frenchman Street on the street.

Favorite wildlife to spot on tour: Baby Alligator

Favorite outdoor activity: Mushroom foraging

I’ve lived on the water all my life. From the Great Lakes of Wisconsin, to the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula in Washington. I spent many years along the Columbia and Willamette rivers in Oregon (add a few dozen) and a handful of winters on the Pacific Ocean off California. Finally, I’m a happy resident of the wetlands of Louisiana outside of New Orleans. You could say this type of work is my passion by default at this point, and I truly couldn’t imagine life any other way.

Throughout the years I’ve been involved with wetland restoration projects, native plant conservation, wildlife management and preservation initiatives, ecological agriculture studies and outreach programs with American Indian Tribes, farmers, scientists and ethnobotanists across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America.

My specific interests lie within soil studies, water quality, botany, mycology, fish and wildlife management, habitat loss and natural/geomorphological history. Louisiana’s wetlands have helped me really cut my teeth on the overall time-frame and urgency of these challenges, both globally and locally. There’s absolutely nowhere like the Southern Louisiana Bayou. Upon first glance, we hold the key to the survival of more than 90% of the species in the Gulf of Mexico, though we represent more than 80% of the land loss nationally/annually. This is SCARY. Our backyard also hosts unparalleled mystery and charm in my eyes, which no science can explain.

Head out on the water with us soon to find out why. If you have specific interests please let us at New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours know prior, so we can pair you with the right guide, in the best location. We’re always exploring new terrain and strive to create the perfect kayak swamp tour experience for anyone! We may be many years into this extremely fun operation, that a few of us wild-eyed dreamers created; but we’d love to connect your fresh perspectives with our future goals. After all, time there was a plenty, but from that cup, no more!

Water is Life,


Jeff standing in the swamp

Jeffrey Chitek

Operations Manager/Guide/Reception

Jeff has a way with words and an uncanny ability to capture the swamp with his camera.  Don’t hesitate to hand him your iphone camera to get a great photo.

Where will you find him on friday night? a fringy behind the scenes circus party.

Favorite Local eats: Always a great topic of conversation!

Favorite wildlife to spot on tour: Frogs

Favorite outdoor activity: Photography

Emma in a kayak

Emma Reid


She fights for the environment!

Ross in a Kayak

Ross Baringer


Ross’s adventure from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. His goal is to inspire current and future generations to enjoy and protect this great wilderness. It’s no secret that Louisiana’s wetlands are under threat from a number of factors. He hopes to illuminate what is at stake for our culture and our way of life if these ecosystems are lost. To accomplish this we are reaching out to local experts in ecology, archeology, and conservation who will meet our crew at various points along the journey to paint for us a picture of Louisiana’s past, present, and future. We’ll speak to locals who live on these waterways to gain the unique perspective of people whose way of life is intrinsically tied to the swamp.

Ray on the beach

Ray Swaney


Philosopher Poet…

Sammy Reeves


Humble protector of the swamps. Don’t let his tattoo’s scare you off, he will wow you with his knowledge of the backwoods.

Mike Maher


Details coming soon…

Excited to visit? Let us send you a brochure!