QUEEN BESS ISLAND, La. (AP) — Louisiana's governor has dedicated a newly enlarged barrier island as a wildlife refuge.
Queen Bess Island provides critical nesting habitat for pelicans and other seabirds.
Gov. John Bel Edwards noted Monday that he walked across land that didn't exist until recently.
Queen Bess Island is being restored after decades of erosion and a crippling 2010 oil spill. The island once covered 45 acres.
Last year, only 5 acres were high enough for pelicans to nest. But now it is being restored to nearly its former size.
The island off the Gulf of Mexico plays an outsize role as one of Louisiana's largest rookeries for brown pelicans.