QUEEN BESS ISLAND, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — You can call it a homecoming for Louisiana’s state bird.
State wildlife and coastal officials plan to finish building rookeries meant to attract brown pelicans back to Queen Bess Island, a boatride away from Grand Isle. Coastal erosion and the 2010 BP oil spill had previously chased the birds from the island.
“We expect several hundred, or even several thousand nests here on this island for migratory birds,” said Chip Kline, who chairs the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
Queen Bess is also a barrier island, which shields Louisiana’s coast from nature’s force. The pelican nesting habitat will also provide a buffer for future erosion, another selling point among its state and federal partners.
“There’s a reason we call this America’s wetlands,” Kline told BRProud.com. “This is a national issue that the nation needs to pay attention to. Coastal Louisiana is not only important to Louisiana or the Gulf Cosat, but the nation as a whole.”
The new nesting grounds should be ready for brown pelicans by Feb. 15.