For you nature lovers, many national wildlife refuges around the country will host open houses and public celebrations in honor of the 109th birthday of the National Wildlife Refuge System and will offer great opportunities for wildlife viewing. In 1903, President Teddy Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Florida’s Pelican Island to protect wild birds from bounty hunters. Today, the Refuge System’s 556 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts make up the nation’s premier network of public lands, providing vital habitat for thousands of animal and plant species.
St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, in Franklin County, Florida, is an undeveloped barrier island just offshore from the mouth of the Apalachicola River, in the Gulf of Mexico. The refuge is managed to preserve its highly varied plant and animal communities. Ten separate habitat types have been identified: tidal marsh; freshwater lakes and streams; dunes dominated by live oak and mixed hardwood understory; scrub oaks; relatively pure stands of cabbage palm; and four different slash pine communities, each with its own unique understory species. St. Vincent is an important stop-off point in the Gulf of Mexico region for neo-tropical migratory birds. The island is a haven for endangered and threatened species, including bald eagles, sea turtles, indigo snakes, and gopher tortoises. Wood storks use the refuge during their migration. In addition, the refuge serves as a breeding area for endangered red wolves.
On Friday, March 22, 2013 the St. Vincent Island Supporters Group will welcome visitors to the island to explore and learn more about this beautiful island wildlife refuge. There are a wide variety of events for all participants. Among them are exhibits, hikes, nature trails, music, historical narratives, photo opportunities and art exhibits.
Free transportation to and from the island will be provided. There is no charge for the event
Date and Time : March 22, 2013 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM (ET)
Location : St. Vincent Island
Contact email : firstname.lastname@example.org
National wildlife refuges are national treasures that play a critical role in preserving America’s rich wildlife legacy,” says U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “Without refuges’ important conservation work, the country would lose many species of plants and animals that help clean our air, filter our water, pollinate our crops and boost our understanding of our place in the natural world.”
Turtle Beach Inn Bed and Breakfast located in Port St. Joe with Gulf view cottages, where you can experience the charm and natural beauty of Florida’s Forgotten Coast is the perfect place to stay while enjoying St. Vincent Island. Canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving are all available in the area. St. Vincent Island, a federal wildlife preserve, is just a short paddle or boat ride from the inn. Cape San Blas Bed and Breakfast in Cape San Blas is also a great place to stay while visiting the St. Vincent Wildlife Refuge. The Inn is situated on the east side of St. Joseph Peninsula. Overlooking picturesque St. Joseph Bay and across the street from the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Inn is situated 25 miles west of Apalachicola and 14 miles from Port St. Joe. Graced by the natural beauty of this yet-unspoiled part of Florida’s Gulf coast