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Le Grand Gosier
At the Festival en Chanson in Petite Vallée, Québec in July of 2010, two Louisiana songwriters, unbeknownst to one another, composed songs inspired by the brown pelican. The pelican is a powerful symbol for the people of Louisiana and its story resonnates deeply in the Bayou State.
On his voyage of exploration in 1699, Iberville noted the numerous colonies of these coastal birds.
In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state of the United States and the state flag bears the image of a pelican feeding its young. In 1966, the brown pelican was declared the official state bird, but in that year, the pelican had disappeared from the coast. Estimated at over 50,000 birds at the beginning of the 20th century, the pesticide DDT decimated the pelican colonies in the 1950s and by 1963, not a single bird could be found along the Louisiana coast.
In 1968, the brown pelican was re-introduced. Fledglings from Florida were installed at three locations : Queen Bess, Île du Nord (North Island) and Île aux Pitres. The program was a success. By 2008, the population was evaluated at over 14,000 breeding pairs and in 2009, the brown pelican was removed from the list of endangered species.
The catastrophy of the Deepwater Horizon has been a terrible ordeal for the communities of Southeastern Louisiana. The oil spill has inflicted a horrific toll on the sea birds, aquatic mammals and fish as well as fishermen and their families. Gulf Aid Acadiana is working to restore the coast and help all of its residents recover from this environmental tragedy.
The proceeds from the sale of these songs are devoted to Gulf Aid Acadiana
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