Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
    • Frequently Asked Questions

     

What is there to see and do at the refuge?Environmental Education Scope - People viewing wildlife
The refuge has a visitor's center with a 20-minute video about the refuge, a short hiking trail, wildlife and habitat exhibits, and a staffed information desk. Five additional hiking trails, a 7-mile wildlife drive, a manatee viewing area, several boat launch areas, boating, fishing, canoeing, and wildlife observation opportunities also exist.

 

 

Environmental Education Scope - Photo by Joel Reynolds

Little green heron perched on branch

 

Can you give me an address for my GPS?
We do not have an USPS address, however, our the GPS coordinates for the Visitor Center are 28.641467, -80.735842

Or you can use 3 South Washington Ave, Titusville, FL 32796. This is not our address, but from this point go east over the Max Brewer Bridge. A 1/4 mile past the bridge you will see the main entrance sign.  

 

 

Little Green Heron - USFWS Photo

 

 

 

How is it possible for wildlife to peacefully coexist with space operations and what effects do rocket launches have on wildlife?
NASA’s launch facilities, roads, and facilities take up about 10,000 acres of the 140,000 acres area that make up the refuge, or about 7% of the area.  The rest of the area remains undeveloped and provides excellent habitat for wildlife.During shuttle launches, short term disturbance occurs in the immediate vicinity of the launch pads, but the disturbance is short-lived and wildlife fatalities are not common.  Because of the location of the pads and the size of the area (35 miles in length) NASA operations actually have minimal effects on wildlife. Also remember, if it were not for NASA, the land would not have been purchased by the federal government and the wildlife habitats protected by this purchase would likely been replaced by subdivision, or commercial land use.

 

Otter in the grassWhere is the best place to see wildlife?
Black Point Wildlife Drive provides a 7 mile auto tour loop and during the winter season you may see over 50 species of waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds and raptors.  Seven walking trails are routed through a variety of wildlife habitats and provide additional wildlife viewing opportunities.  

Otter - Photo by Joel Reynolds

 

 

Where can we go to see an alligator?
Alligators inhabit the freshwater ponds behind the Visitor Center. They can often be seen basking on sunny days during winter months, on dikes or banks throughout the refuge. Black Point Wildlife Drive, Bio Lab Road and Peacocks Pocket Road are all excellent areas to see alligators. During the warm season (May –September) alligators spend most of their time in the water staying cool which makes them more difficult to find.

Alligator walking in the grass
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