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Gulf oil spill: Breton wildlife refuge closed to public as spill spreads

May 7, 2010 | 12:34 pm


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed Louisiana's Breton National Wildlife Refuge to public entry Friday, including the Chandeleur Islands, where oil has already made landfall.

The agency said the closure was aimed at minimizing disturbance to nesting colonial sea birds, and to allow personnel conducting cleanup operations and recovery efforts to work safely and efficiently.

Oil is now on both sides of the island chain, the agency confirmed.

"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," the service said in a statement.

--Ashley Powers

Photo: Mark Stebley, who has been fishing the waters off the Chandeleur Islands for 25 years, says he's never seen anything like this oil spill. "It's not too late," he said. "If they would only do something now." Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times