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National Wildlife Refuge Week October 11-17

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Oct 8, 2020 | by Adrian Binns

National Wildlife Refuge week is October 11-17, 2020, celebrating the great network of land and water that protects our precious wildlife and natural resources. There are more than 560 National Wildlife Refuges (NWR’s) in the United States encompassing 95 million acres of land. The smallest is Mille Lac NWR, less than one acre in Minnesota, but an important double-island space for breeding Common Terns. The largest, Arctic NWR in Alaska, spans more than 30,100 square miles, and is home to caribou, polar bear, and indigenous peoples sustained by the rich resources of this vast, remote area.

Great Egrets

Our National Wildlife Refuge system of public lands and waterways belongs to all Americans, and is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. It provides vital habitat for thousands of native species, a number of which are threatened or endangered. NWR’s are crucial for people communities as well as wildlife – they support more than 41,000 jobs, inject $3.2 billion into the economy, provide clean drinking water, clean air, flood mitigation, environmental education and health benefits to millions of visitors.

Sunrise at John Heinz NWR, Philadelphia PA

National Wildlife Refuge week is a great time to explore a local refuge – there’s at least one in every state – to enjoy hiking, birdwatching, photography, fishing, wildlife watching, or volunteering. I’m fortunate to live close to a number of wonderful refuges; John Heinz NWR in Philadelphia, Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in Brigantine NJ, and Bombay Hook NWR in Delaware are among my favorites. Each offers unique landscapes, and an amazing diversity of birds and wildlife all year long. There’s always something new to see and experience at these green spaces.

Get outdoors and connect to nature during National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 11-17, 2020!

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