Following are some highlights of the status of the Lower Suwannee/Cedar Keys NWRs as we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our outdoor facilities are open to the public - nothing is closed except buildings! In fact, the refuge is experiencing relatively high usage given so many other State of Florida and sister federal public areas are closed. My cell phone has been lit up with texts and phone messages asking for information on recreational access.
Staff designated as essential are working on station, while others are working from home.
Staff, along with the resident volunteers, continue to patrol Shell Mound and Shired Island, including cleaning bathrooms and picking up garbage. Unfortunately, duties on the Dixie side have involved addressing new graffiti on the Mainline Bridges.
While office routines and schedules remain in flux, much is being accomplished. You will hardly recognize the headquarters office and out-buildings, as staff and the resident volunteers have undertaken projects including treating the outside of the log cabin, sealing the wood on the building, rebuilding the education shed, mowing the grounds, cleaning offices and windows, and seemingly organizing everything! We are so grateful for their hard work.
I, along with the entire Refuge staff, extend best wishes for all of you, your families, friends, and our communities.
If you need me, give a call on my cell 703.622.3896.