National Wildlife Refuges in Florida

National Wildlife Refuges in Florida
The National Wildlife Refuges comprise a network of public lands that support wildlife, protect a healthy environment, and provide people with outdoor recreation and experiences. There are more than 560 refuges in the U.S., all administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior. Of these, 30 are in Florida. Here is a list, in alphabetical order, of Florida refuges:

  1. Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
  2. . Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
  4. Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge
  5. Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
  6. Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  7. Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
  8. Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge
  9. Everglades Headwaters NWR and Conservation Area
  10. Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
  11. Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge
  12. Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
  13. Island Bay National Wildlife Refuge
  14. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
  15. Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge
  16. Key West National Wildlife Refuge
  17. Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge
  18. Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge
  19. Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge
  20. Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge
  21. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
  22. National Key Deer Refuge
  23. Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge
  24. Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
  25. Pine Island National Wildlife Refuge
  26. Pinellas National Wildlife Refuge
  27. St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge
  28. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
  29. St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge
  30. Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge

The National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) System celebrated its 100th birthday in 2003. In 1903, concerned about the number of birds killed for their plumes, President Theodore Roosevelt designated the first of these refuges, Pelican Island, to protect egrets, herons, and other birds. By the end of his presidency, Roosevelt had created an additional 9 refuges in Florida.

Visitors to the national wildlife refuges can participate in a variety of outdoor activities including photography, fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, paddling, bicycling, and environmental education. Some, but not all, of the refuges allow hunting and fishing. In addition to wildlife, the refuges may also protect historic and cultural sites. For example, there are historic lighthouses at St. Marks and at Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges.

Each of the Florida refuges has an individual web page accessible from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service web site.

Note: As of 26 December 2018, the national wildlife refuges are, with certain exceptions, closed to public visitation. This policy is in effect until further notice after the partial federal government shutdown has been resolved.







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