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Calendar of Events

Visitors Information Center sign

at Merritt Island
National Wildlife Refuge
321-861-0667


Refuge roads, trails and boat ramps are open from sunrise to sunset daily. Bairs Cove boat ramp is the only boat ramp open for night launching. The Visitor Information Center is open 8 am to 4 pm daily November 1 through March 31. April 1 through October 31 the Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm. It is closed most federal holidays.

Haulover Canal Bridge is OPEN
Friday September 22 — the draw bridge over the Haulover Canal has been re-opened to through traffic. This will allow access to the Manatee Observation Deck and the NW Haulover Canal Road on the north side of the canal, both have which have re-opened post Hurricane Irma clean up. The Bairs Cove parking lot and boat ramp have also re-opened, however the public is urged to use caution around the boat dock. The dock surface itself is unsafe and the dock is closed. The area directly adjacent to the dock was inspected by structural engineers earlier this week, but remains closed until a more detailed inspection can be completed. Please do not move cones, ropes, signs or barricades which have been placed for visitor safety.

Points of Interest

Merritt Island N.W.R. & Canaveral N.S.
View in a larger map.

Photos of Map Locations


Its time to start planning for the Christmas Bird Count.
This year's count will be on Monday, December 18th at 5:00am.
If you would like to help please contact the count organizer, Ned Steel at nedsteel@msn.com

December, 2017
Free Public Events

For reservation and more information,
call our visitor center at 321-861-0669.
Spread Your Wings On A National Wildlife Refuge

December 2017 - MINWR calendar
Click to enlarge, print & share.


Butterfly Survey, Volunteers Needed — Saturday, December 2nd at 9:00 am
View a photo presentation to learn how to identify butterflies. Then, participate in a butterfly survey to collect data for the North American Butterfly Count and Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network. Bring water, snacks, insect repellent and wear closed shoes and long pants. Meet in the auditorium in the visitor center.

Trash Bash, Volunteers Needed — Saturday, December 2nd at 9:00 am
Join us the first Saturday of each month through March to help clean up the refuge and make space for wildlife. We will meet at the Bairs Cove Boat Ramp turn off. Grabbers, gloves, and trash bags will be provided.

Black Point Wildlife Drive Bus Tour — Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 am
Join a knowledgeable refuge volunteer for a guided two hour in the Refuge Shuttle bus for an opportunity to identify the varieties of birds found on the refuge such as the Reddish Egret, Florida Scrub jay, Great Blue herons and many more! Meet at the refuge visitor information center front desk. Space is limited so please call (321) 861-0669 for reservations. Fee of $5 per person, 52.50 with senior or access pass.
Dates for Tuesday: 12/5, 12/12, 12/19, 12/26
Dates for Thursday: 12/7, 12/14, 12/21, 12/28
Dates for Saturday: 12/2, 12/9, 12/16, 12/23, 12/30
Dates for Sunday: 12/3, 12/10, 12/17, 12/24, 12/31

Guided Boardwalk Hike — Thursdays at 11:30am
Join for a guided tour of the 1/4 mile boardwalk hike around the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center to learn about the local flora, fauna and history of the area.

Bobcat Chat — Thursdays at 11:30am
Thursdays at 12:30pm
View a photo presentation about the elusive creatures and learn about the bobcat's natural history.

Ranger Program: Fire — Fridays at 1 pm
Join a Ranger to learn about wildfire ecology on Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and its vital role in maintaining habitat for local flora and fauna.
Dates for Friday: 12/1, 12/8, 12/15
Dates for Saturday: 12/23

Eagle Talk — Wednesday, December 20th at 12:30pm
Enjoy a photo presentation about the American Bald Eagle, and learn the life history of our National Bird. Held in the auditorium of the visitor center.

Alligator Program — Thursday, December 5th, 19th, and 26th at 11:30 am
Learn about the natural history of this intriguing reptile and handle gator bio-facts. Held in the auditorium of the visitor center


Junior Ranger Program


Puddles - our FWS logo duck - with an admirer Kids with a spotting scope A birding tour on Black Point Drive
An Owl presentation at MINWR
Girls birding
Admiring the birds on Black Point Drive.


About The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit╩www.fws.gov.
Connect with us on social media at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, http://www.youtube.com/usfws, and http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.


Canaveral National Seashore/Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Fee Increase
Beginning January 1, 2017 vehicle entrance fees will increase for both seashore and refuge from $5 per vehicle to $10 per vehicle. The Canaveral/Merritt Island Annual Pass will increase from $35 to $40 per calendar year. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (only) Annual Pass will increase from $15 to $25. Visitors with a Refuge only pass or a Federal Duck Hunting Pass may upgrade to include the seashore for $15.

Learn how you can help protect and preserve your natural resources. Start here at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/merritt_island. Consider volunteering or joining The Merritt Island Wildlife Association, http://www.merrittislandwildlifeassociation.org


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Adopt a Trail...Shore...Spot...Road Program

Litter pick up at MINWR. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is proud to announce a new program to help reduce and control litter. Individuals, families, civic groups, clubs, school groups and businesses are invited to participate. The program is patterned after the National Adopt a Road program. Areas open for adoption include interior roads, shorelines, trails and spots such as boat launches and Refuge entrances. Participating members of the program will commit to three litter clean ups per year in their adopted area. Adopting organizations will get a recognition sign posted at their site. Please join us in keeping your refuge clean. Please call Mary Bibler, Pathways Intern at 321-861-0668 for more information.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southeast. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws, and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.

Please call Mary Bibler, Pathways Intern at 321-861-0668 for more information.



The Visitor Center is located on SR 402, 5 miles east of U.S. 1 in Titusville.





Planning A School Field Trip


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Check our PRESS RELEASES for some program details

For more information, please contact us at:
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Mary Bibler, Pathways Intern
P.O. Box 2683
Titusville, Florida 32781
321-861-0668
Email: mary_bibler@fws.gov


U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


On March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an Executive Order creating Pelican Island as the country's first national wildlife refuge. Roosevelt went on to establish an additional 54 national wildlife refuges during his two terms and set historic conservation values for America. These values have grown into a system, which today, consists of 562 National Wildlife Refuges on more than 150 million acres of America's most important wildlife habitat. As part of its mission, the Service manages 562 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System covering 150 million acres. These areas comprise the National Wildlife Refuge System, the world's largest collection of lands and waters set aside specifically for fish and wildlife.

The majority of these lands, 77 million acres are in Alaska, while 54 million acres are part of three marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean. The remaining acres are spread across the other 49 states and several United States territories. In addition to refuges, the Service manages thousands of small wetlands, 38 wetland management districts, 70 national fish hatcheries, 65 fishery resource offices, and 81 ecological services field stations.

The Service enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

About The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.



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