The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is supporting the joint response to the Mississippi Canyon 252 oil spill with experienced specialists, land managers and support personnel.
Booms to capture and deflect anticipated oil are being deployed at Breton National Wildlife Refuge, where thousands of brown pelicans and shorebirds are currently nesting. The service also is initiating natural resource damage assessment and restoration activities in this incident to assess and address the long-term damage to impacted resources.
Service employees from national wildlife refuges, environmental contaminants, and service aircraft have been part of the response effort from the beginning and will continue to work with federal, state and local counterparts and conservation organizations, the U.S. Coast Guard and all other contributors in this effort. The Coast Guard has the lead overall in this response effort.
As the encroachment of oil into coastal zones appears imminent, primary concerns include potential impacts to 20 coastal National Wildlife Refuges within the possible trajectory of the spill. In addition, this is avian nesting season, and sea turtle nesting season is approaching.
Gulf sturgeon are congregating in coastal waters for upstream migration and manatees are migrating back into summer areas more widespread than winter gathering spots in warm springs. All of these resources could be affected by the spill.