Project name:#1002 Beach Stabilization and Vegetative Restoration on Breton Island National Wildlife Refuge
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: US Fish & Wildlife Service
Project location: Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana
Grant period: June 1, 2021 - May 30, 2021 (extended to Aug 31, 2021)
Grant amount: $30,130
Project leaders: Elizabeth Souheaver and Nancy Walters
USFWS Southeast Louisiana Refuges
61389 Hwy 434
Lancombe, LA 70445
(985) 882-2000 phone
(985) 882-9133 fax
Project site map (Breton Island) - click to enlarge
The dominant vegetation on Breton NWR consists of shrubs such as black mangrove, groundsel bush and wax myrtle. Succulent species such as glasswort
are found on the sandy flats, while the back barrier marshes comprise mostly wire grass and oyster grass. Shallow bay waters around the islands
support beds of manatee grass, shoal grass, turtle grass, and widgeon grass.
Species Benefiting from Restoration: Breton NWR provides habitat for colonies of nesting wading birds and seabirds,
as well as wintering shorebirds and waterfowl. Twenty-three species of seabirds and shorebirds frequently use the refuge, and 13 species nest on the various islands. The most abundant nesters are brown pelicans, black skimmers, laughing gulls, and royal, Caspian and sandwich terns.
Waterfowl winter near the refuge islands and use the
adjacent shallows, marshes and sounds for feeding and for
protection during inclement weather. Redheads and lesser scaup
account for the majority of waterfowl use. Other wildlife
species found on the refuge include nutria, rabbits,
raccoons, and loggerhead sea turtles.
2.8 acres of beach and marsh on Breton
Rationale for Project:
Breton Island is the second oldest National
Wildlife Refuge, established by
President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. The objectives of the refuge are to 1)
provide sanctuary for nesting and wintering seabirds; 2) protect and preserve
the wilderness character of the island; and 3) provide sandy beach habitat for a
variety of wildlife species. Not only does this project contribute to those
objectives, but also is an important measure ensuring the existence and
health of the refuge for future generations. In addition to the refuge
objectives, restoration of barrier islands was outlined in the Louisiana Coast
2050 Plan as a priority measure ensuring the health and vitality of the
Louisiana coastal marshes.
- Stabilize existing beach and create sand dunes using sand fencing
- Restore beach vegetation on existing and recently created beach and sand dunes
- Accrete and stabilize back marshes and subtidal zones through sediment trapping by planting salt marsh vegetation
- Educate and provide factual and scientific information on barrier island ecology and restoration
Breton Island in 1999, before hurricane damage.
Breton Island in 2001, after hurricane damage.