A Louisiana island that provides critical nesting habitat for pelicans and other seabirds is being restored to nearly its former size after decades of erosion and a crippling 2010 oil spill.

Queen Bess Island on the Gulf Coast shrank from about 45 acres in 1956 to about 5 acres by 2010, when the offshore spill fouled its beaches, killing many birds.

Though a blip of an island, it plays an outsize role as one of Louisiana's largest brown pelican rookeries.

Louisiana's population of the state bird was killed off decades ago by pesticide use.

The population began making a comeback in the 1960s, starting at Queen Bess Island.

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