Breton National Wildlife Refuge

Location: Louisiana

One of Our Country’s First Refuges Took One of the First Hits from BP Oil

Breton NWR

Breton National Wildlife Refuge is the second oldest wildlife refuge in the United States. This national treasure was established in 1905 by President Roosevelt and is composed of several islands providing habitat for wading birds and seabirds. With numerous nesting species including brown pelicans, royal terns, Caspian terns and Sandwich terns, the Breton NWR also provides an initial storm barrier for southeast Louisiana wetlands – whose features and vegetation are key components in protecting metropolitan New Orleans.


Thousands of brown pelicans and other shorebirds are currently nesting on these threatened barrier islands.

In early May of 2010, the US Fish and Wildlife Service found sheen and emulsified oil near the islands of the refuge and closed it to protect the nesting birds and to allow workers to operate safely and efficiently.

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