Project Page

Queen Bess Island Restoration Project

Implementing Organization

State of Louisiana


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Species Restoration

Targeted Resources

Birds/Bird Habitat

Project Description

During the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, approximately 134 million barrels of oil and other substances were released into the Gulf of Mexico. This affected many coastal Louisiana islands, including Queen Bess Island, which provide important habitat for threatened and endangered bird species and species of concern (e.g., Least Tern [Sternula antillarum], Black Skimmer [Rynchops niger], and Brown Pelican [Pelecanus occidentalis]). Prior to project construction, Queen Bess Island had approximately 5 acres of suitable nesting and brood-rearing bird habitat. Despite its limited size, the island then supported the fourth largest and most productive Brown Pelican rookery in Louisiana and provided critical nesting and brood-rearing habitat for other colonial nesting species. This project created 30 acres of Brown Pelican habitat and 7 acres of tern and skimmer habitat. This was accomplished by filling the southern cell (Cell 3) with river sand to 3.5-4 feet above sea level, and gradually sloping fill material downward through Cell 2 from southwest to northeast. Cell 1 received the least sand fill material, leaving this cell immediately available for colonial waterbird nesting and brood-rearing habitat following construction. This project provided a variety of vegetation growth and nesting substrates, including a 7-acre unvegetated, upland tern/skimmer habitat platform topped with crushed limestone in Cell 3, scrub-shrub in Cells 2 and 3, and left existing black mangrove and marsh grasses in Cell 1. A tidal exchange point in Cell 1 promotes/enhances fish access in this cell. Breakwaters were installed on the island’s northeast side on "More Info" link below


Katie Freer
(225) 342-4635
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

For official trustee information regarding the Deepwater Horizon NRDA, including information regarding the NRDA process and the status of projects, see

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