The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed the Breton National Wildlife Refuge to public entry, the agency said today.
This closure covers all of Breton NWR, which includes the Chandeleur Islands chain (Chandeleur, Grand Gossier, Curlew, New Harbor Island, North Islands, Free Mason).
The refuge closure is important to keep the public safe, to minimize disturbance to nesting colonial sea birds, and to allow personnel conducting cleanup operations and recovery efforts to work safely and efficiently.
The first shoreline impact of oil from the spill was confirmed late Wednesday afternoon at Breton, with oil on both sides of the southern half of the Chandeleur Islands. Overflight information indicated sheen and emulsified oil were observed around the islands.
Service personnel and oil response teams have been deployed to conduct and manage cleanup operations. Recoverable oil will be removed, impacted areas cleaned and protection efforts continued.