Hosted by LDWF, CPRA, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
10 participants / $100, includes lunch
Louisiana’s state bird, the brown pelican, had virtually disappeared from the state in the 1960’s largely due to the now-banned pesticide DDT. To restore nesting populations, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries captured and relocated brown pelican chicks from Florida to Louisiana, including Queen Bess Island in lower Jefferson Parish, from 1968 through 1976. Today the island, just north of Grand Isle is the fourth largest brown pelican rookery in Louisiana and provides habitat for about 10 species of nesting colonial waterbirds, such as tri-colored herons, great egrets, and royal terns. The island and nesting birds were heavily oiled by the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010, but in 2019, Queen Bess Island was approved as a state wildlife refuge to enhance protection of the island, and in February 2020, LDWF and the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority completed a project to restore the island’s available nesting habitat from 5 to 37 acres.
This field trip will include a bus ride from New Orleans to the LDWF Grand Isle Research Lab, an interactive discussion with project team on island restoration and adaptive management, and a boat ride to Queen Bess Island. High winds may limit accessibility to the island, in which case, participants can tour the Grand Isle Lab and nearby Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge and Jean Lafitte Nature Preserve following the project presentation. Should severe weather limit outdoor activities, the project team can host a presentation/discussion at the conference hotel for interested participants. Plan for low to moderate impact boat ride in coastal waters; light walking in sandy and rocky terrain. Windbreakers and weather appropriate clothing recommended.