four brown pelicans which grey heads

Critical pelican nesting ground restored, 10 years after BP oil spill

Louisiana has lost more than half its brown pelican colonies in the past decade. Using fines from the spill, an important island habitat gets a makeover.

Queen Bess Island, one of the most important pelican nesting grounds in the United States, was heavily oiled by the Deepwater Horizon spill, on April 20, 2010. Meanwhile, coastal erosion and other pressures so reduced the available space that as many as 6,600 nesting brown pelicans crowded on just five acres, alongside herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, and other coastal birds. An ambitious makeover of Queen Bess has increased the nesting area to nearly 40 acres.

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Photograph courtesy of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

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