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Dozens of bright green trees growing out of a flooded river bank
Information icon Cypress swamp at Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by USFWS.

Stories

  • Thousands of pelicans dot an island landscape shot from above
    Information icon Aerial view of Queen Bess Island, which supports an important brown pelican rookery in Louisiana. Photo by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

    Streamlined environmental compliance process benefits brown pelican rookery

    August 20, 2019 | 4 minute read

    “Good Queen Bess” (a.k.a. Queen Elizabeth I) is credited with putting an end to a period of instability in mid-16th century England. Unfortunately, the tiny scrap of land in Louisiana that bears her name, Queen Bess Island, has been anything but stable. The island, located about two-and-a-half miles north of Grand Isle in Barataria Bay, has been sinking and eroding into the Gulf of Mexico. This is a matter of concern, as Queen Bess Island supports the third largest brown pelican rookery in Louisiana.  Learn more...

  • Thousands of pelicans dot an island landscape shot from above
    Information icon Aerial view of Queen Bess Island, which supports an important brown pelican rookery in Louisiana. Photo by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

    A head start on healing

    July 16, 2019 | 4 minute read

    “Good Queen Bess” (a.k.a. Queen Elizabeth I) is credited with putting an end to a period of instability in mid-16th century England. Unfortunately, the tiny scrap of land in Louisiana that bears her name, Queen Bess Island, has been anything but stable. The island, located about two and a half miles north of Grand Isle in Barataria Bay, has been sinking and eroding into the Gulf of Mexico. This is a matter of concern, as Queen Bess Island supports the third largest brown pelican rookery in Louisiana.  Learn more...

  • Tall, yellow cylindrical plants growing on wet ground
    Information icon Trumpet pitcher plants. Photo © Atlanta Botanical Garden, used with permission.

    Seeps and springs and pitcher plants

    June 17, 2019 | 4 minute read

    Long ago, before Florida’s Panhandle was ditched, drained, paved and primed for development, there existed a rich tapestry of bogs, dunes, lakes and forests alongside the Gulf of Mexico. Bulldozers all but wiped out the rare coastal habitat. Pockets, though, remain. Pockets of pitcher plants and pine lilies; of seepage slopes and wet prairies; of wiregrass and sedges; and of butterflies and bees. Pine lily. Photo © Atlanta Botanical Garden, used with permission.  Learn more...

  • Pelicans dot an island landscape shot from above with a single large pelican flying near the elevated camera.
    Information icon A brown pelican soars over others on Queen Bess Island, Louisiana. Photo by USFWS.

    Island restoration project and partnerships playing key role in future of the brown pelican

    June 14, 2019 | 3 minute read

    It may not be widely known that Louisiana, the Pelican State, had lost for almost a decade all of its namesake brown pelicans. In the early 1900’s Louisiana’s brown pelican population was estimated at 50,000 to 80,000. The widespread use of the insecticide DDT, however, took a huge toll on many bird species, including the brown pelican. By 1963, the bird was no longer found anywhere in the state. Today, the birds are back and their numbers around the state are staying steady.  Learn more...

  • A large white ferry called the Turtle Runner out of Gulf Breeze, FL off the coast of Pensicola.
    Information icon Turtle Runner is one of two ferryboats paid for with Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement funds. Photo by the National Park Service.

    Deepwater Horizon settlement-funded ferryboats highlight the wonders of Pensacola Bay

    June 12, 2019 | 3 minute read

    This August will mark 460 years since Spanish explorer and Conquistador Tristán de Luna sailed 11 vessels into what is now known as Pensacola Bay and established the nation’s oldest (but short-lived) European settlement. Now two 150-passenger catamaran-style ferryboats are plying those waters, thanks to settlement funds resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment (DWH NRDA) process. The ferries, which started service last year, began running from downtown Pensacola from a new $3.  Learn more...

  • A pine forest with trees snapped in half by high winds and a bent speed limit sign
    Information icon Tyndall Air Force Base pine forests were scissored by Hurricane Michael. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS.

    Opportunity from disaster

    June 7, 2019 | 7 minute read

    Panama City, Florida — Hurricane Michael savaged Tyndall Air Force Base with 160 mph winds that nearly destroyed the base and everything, including the trees, within its deadly path across the Panhandle. Damage to Tyndall alone topped $3 billion. Three-fourths of the pines on the 29,000-acre base between the Gulf of Mexico and East Bay were sheared in half. Tyndall lost $14 million in harvestable timber. Blackhawk helicopters fly over Tyndall Air Force Base.  Learn more...

  • A dozen or so small grey fish next to a ruler.
    Information icon Adult saltmarsh topminnows. Photo by Ronald Paille, USFWS.

    Looking for the saltmarsh topminnow in coastal Louisiana

    March 12, 2019 | 3 minute read

    The Fish and Wildlife Service has been petitioned by WildEarth Guardians to list the saltmarsh topminnow under the Endangered Species Act. Not much is known about the topminnow’s distribution and biology so the Service is researching this species. According to scientific literature, the topminnow occurs in marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. It is a small non-migratory estuarine fish which reaches up to three inches long. It forages on the marsh surface during high tides, and retreats to small tidal creeks and rivulets during low tide.  Learn more...

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