State Coastal Protection and Restoration and Wildlife Officials Working to Better Protect Terrebonne Barrier Islands
BATON ROUGE (July 10, 2010) - State officials with the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are coordinating with Terrebonne Parish to more effectively deploy boom to protect Wine and Raccoon Islands.
Working under emergency authorization from the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Natural Resources, contractors will drive a series of pilings on the Gulf of Mexico side of both islands in order to better secure boom and keep it from being displaced by winds and wave action.
Officials anticipate securing the boom to pilings in the surf zone of both islands will help keep oil away from beaches and bird nesting areas.
Both Raccoon and Wine Island are vital nesting areas for a host of wading and diving birds including Brown Pelicans with Raccoon hosting the largest colonial waterbird nesting colony in the state.
Both islands are part of th! e Isles Dernieres island chain. Along with Whiskey Island, located immediately to the east of Raccoon, the islands make up the Isles Dernieres Barrier Island Refuge. All three islands were purchased by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 1992 and are managed primarily to maintain healthy nesting grounds for native birds.
Oil has been impacting beaches in Terrebonne Parish since mid-May.