The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is temporarily opening a section of beach along the Elmer’s Island Refuge effective immediately. The open section will include the area at the end of the access road and continue approximately 0.5 miles to the east. Areas that will remain closed will be clearly marked.
After the opening, road access to Elmer’s Island opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset seven days a week. Night-time access and fishing on the island remain closed, and camping on the beach is strictly prohibited.
The refuge was closed on August 26, 2012 in anticipation of Hurricane Isaac, and has remained closed due to road conditions and continual oiling events. Elmer’s Island continues to experience re-oiling and heavy clean-up operations are ongoing. Clean-up areas will be clearly marked. Visitors are asked to exercise caution when accessing this area.
Although the beach will be open for day-time public access, workers and state officials will continue to monitor the shoreline in order to continue to respond to oiling impacts. The probationary opening will be assessed after a period of 10 days, and is subject to reconsideration. Any sightings of oil should be reported to LDWF at (800) 442-2511 and the National Response Center (NRC) at (800) 424-8802.
LDWF asks the public not to cross areas covered with water. Winds and wave energy from Hurricane Isaac created washovers which can be covered in water during high tides.
For a map detailing the specific areas open click here:
Image courtesy Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries