Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

October 4, 2010

Fall into Nature as You Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week

Big Sit 2009 - Two participants looking at a black bear.
Big Sit! counts bird species seen or heard, but our "sitters" see lots of other wildlife. To sign up for the Big Sit! or for more information, please contact Cindy Heffley at 252.475.4180 or by e-mail at cindy_heffley@fws.gov. Photo Credit: Cindy Heffley, USFWS

Cool weather can be a great time to enjoy the crisp air on the Outer Banks and offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week. Celebrate with us and tickle your sense of wonder as you experience the beauty of a barrier island and the mystery of the mainland pocosin. Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges belong to a nationwide network of federal lands – the National Wildlife Refuge System – dedicated to the protection of wildlife habitat and wildlife species. The nation’s 552 national wildlife refuges and 37 Wetland Management Districts not only protect the nation’s natural resources, but also offer a range of wildlife-dependent recreation. Locally, you may participate in Big Sit! on both Alligator River and Pea Island Refuges on October 10 or enjoy a morning on a free tram tour on Alligator River on October 16.

Americans have a proud tradition of working to protect and preserve our natural resources, restoring the cultural and historic sites that tell America’s story, and participating in the outdoor recreation brings a sense of personal renewal. You can be part of all that, right here at one of your local refuges.

On Sunday October 10, anytime between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM, come on out to either refuge for our annual Big Sit! event . No, you don’t have to “sit” for 12 hours! Even if you just stop by for an hour or two, your help will be appreciated. You don't have to be an expert birder to participate. We'll have birders there who can help you identify things you see. But, the more eyes we have, the more birds we'll see. This would be a great chance to get some one-on-one help with learning to identify birds and make some new friends. A flat-bed truck filled with scopes, chairs, water, snacks and enthusiastic volunteers will be located at Milltail and Sawyer Lake Roads at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge right off RT 64. Pea Island “sitters” will be at the visitor center on RT 12 near mile post 31.

And, how about ending the week with a FREE guided tram tour at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge? On Saturday, October 16 from 9:00 AM to Noon you can view the wild lands and wildlife of the refuge in the comfort of the open-air tram. Join refuge staff to learn about the importance of the refuge. Find out why refuges were established and how you can help today and in the future.

Consider volunteering or joining the refuge Friends group the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society. Across the country there are more than 39,000 volunteers and Friends organizations who contribute nearly 1.4 million hours annually — the equivalent of 665 full-time employees — to the betterment of national wildlife refuges. You can find out more about the opportunities on local refuges by visiting www.fws.gov/alligatorriver. Once there, you will be given many options for learning about the refuges and all they have to offer.

For those of you who may be traveling during National Wildlife Refuge Week, other National Wildlife Refuges across the country will be holding events. National Wildlife Refuges offer a variety of outdoor activities: fishing, hunting, environmental education, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and interpretive activities. Many wildlife refuges also offer nature hikes, bird watching tours, wildlife drives and trails, and other adventures. Each year, about 42 million Americans discover the wonders of nature by visiting a wildlife refuge. For more information about National Wildlife Refuges, to go: www.fws.gov/refuges.

To sign up for the Big Sit! or for more information, please contact Cindy Heffley at 252.475.4180 or by e-mail at cindy_heffley@fws.gov.