A Note from Deputy Refuge Manager Larry Woodward
My hopes and prayers are that this update finds all our FRIENDS healthy and maintaining the best sense of normalcy that can be expected during this event.
As the Refuge staff has been struggling to navigate our course through these unprecedented times, every day brings a barrage of updated facts, figures, and advisories, but the following picture depicts the unavoidable.
Rest assured, the staff at the Refuge are in high gear managing and protecting critical natural resources, maintaining visitor use facilities, and conducting essential biological monitoring projects. Aside from the Office and Shop Complex being closed to the public, all recreational facilities remained open since the beginning of the pandemic, even when most community, county, and state facilities closed. Although a sacrifice, and a potential risk to staff, we felt it necessary to provide access for our visiting public to have a “refuge” to escape the stresses and frustrations of the “new Normal."
As for wildlife, they have been extremely active and successful with their endeavors. We have a bear and a fox squirrel hanging around in the vicinity of the office compound, turkeys are happy being turkeys, and the seabirds/waders are bountiful with another great nesting year.
The shorebirds are plentiful, but nesting success is minimal due to chronic disturbance by human and domestic animals (i.e. dogs) camping, walking, or beaching boats onto locations that just so happen to be the most important areas for nesting.