JULIE DERMANSKY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JULIE DERMANSKY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), the Louisiana state bird recently taken off the endangered species list, on Cat Island, a barrier island in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico are threatened by coastal erosion that was sped up since the BP oil spill which killed off much of the grass and mangrove trees that hold the islands together. Plaquemines Parish started its own coastal restoration project for Cat Island, a bird rookery for the pelican ahead of the Restore the Coast Act for fear there would be too little of the island left to save.
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