General Trip Planning Information
The refuge is located in the Gulf of Mexico and is accessible only by boat. Most visitors depart from either the Mississippi Gulf Coast or Venice, LA.
Public use centers around fishing and wildlife viewing. Camping on the islands is no longer permitted due to the large amount of land lost to Hurricane Katrina and possible impacts to nesting birds on the remaining habitat. To avoid visitor disturbance to nesting seabird colonies, most nesting colonies are posted as a closed area during the nesting season; approximately five percent of the islands are used by nesting birds.
Climate and Special Equipment Needs
These are open, barrier islands composed of open sand and shell beaches and overwash and marsh and dune grasses and vegetation. There is no shade present. There are few places where a boat can actually reach the island, visitors will be required to wade through shallow waters, sometime for a considerable distance. Visitors should plan on wearing light clothing and a wide brimmed hat in summer and carry plenty of sun screen and fresh water.
Safety and Current Conditions
Stingrays and small to medium size sharks are present in the shallow flats surrounding the islands.