National Wildlife Refuge System

Gulf Coast Oil Spill

blue heron
blue heron
Credit: Earl West, Jr.

More than 160 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees are involved in responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Work is ongoing in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the west coast of Florida.

At least six national wildlife refuges could be affected, including Delta, Breton and Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuges in Louisiana, Grand Bay and Mississippi Sandhill Crane Refuges in Mississippi and Bon Secour Refuge in Alabama.

At Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Service personnel continue to mound sand to build a temporary berm to close Little Lagoon and protect it from Gulf water intrusion. Ground and air surveys of wildlife and habitat are ongoing. Snowy egrets, great blue herons, oyster catchers and other species have been seen.  Any oiled wildlife discovered will be brought to one of three staging areas for evaluation and transport to a rehabilitation center in Venice, LA. Individuals are urged not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings to 1-866-557-1401.

Those interested in volunteering in the recovery effort are asked to call 1-866-448-5816.  Four states have their own Web sites for volunteers:


   Regularly updated information is available at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Response

Last updated: May 7, 2010