Louisiana seeks to make more room for namesake pelicans
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Officials in the Pelican State are designing two projects to shore up coastal islands, aiming to improve nesting grounds for its namesake brown pelicans.
The Advocate reports Louisiana got $148 million following 2010's Deepwater Horizon oil spill to improve coastal rookeries. The projects would aid Rabbit Island in southwest Louisiana's Cameron Parish and fill an area around Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay that's turned to open water.
The Queen Bess site has particular significance for the brown pelican, Louisiana's state bird. It's where scientists released young pelicans in 1968 to restore the population after it was devastated by the insecticide DDT.
The birds left the endangered species list in 2009. But officials now say pelicans are losing Louisiana nesting sites, leaving for Texas or making do with inferior sites.