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U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Temporary Closure of National Wildlife Refuges in Areas Affected by Hurricane Katrina


August 31, 2005

Contacts: Jeff Fleming, 404-274-6693
Kristi Watkins, 404-679-7275

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced today the temporary closure of 16 national wildlife refuges in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Initial damage assessments have been conducted, but the full extent of damage is still unknown.

An FWS Incident Command Team, operating out of the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge near Gautier, Mississippi, has determined that all Service personnel are safe and accounted for, and is currently focusing efforts on providing community support and humanitarian relief.

Refuges impacted by Hurricane Katrina are listed by State:


  • Bon Secour NWR – Gulf Shores
  • Choctaw NWR - Jackson


  • Grand Bay NWR – Grand Bay
  • Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR - Gautier
  • Noxubee NWR - Brooksville
  • St. Catherine Creek NWR - Sibley


  • Atchafalaya NWR – Whiskey Bay
  • Bayou Sauvage NWR – New Orleans
  • Bayou Teche NWR - Franklin
  • Big Branch Marsh NWR - Lacombe
  • Bogue Chitto NWR – Pearl River
  • Breton NWR – Gulf of Mexico
  • Cat Island NWR – St. Francisville
  • Delta NWR - Venice
  • Mandalay NWR - Houma
  • Tensas NWR - Tallulah

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.


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