North Breton Island is a barrier island located a 45-minute boat ride from Venice, Louisiana. For thousands of years the island, which is part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, has slowly eroded away due to natural conditions such as severe storms. The island’s lost shoreline has translated into lost habitat for numerous federally protected birds.
Unfortunately, North Breton Island has suffered from man-made disasters, too. Like many other barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico, it was negatively impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Fortunately, this disaster has come with a silver lining, of sorts -- funding for the island’s restoration paid for by BP, the company primarily responsible for the spill.