Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
August 31, 2011
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Reopens; Pea Island Remains Closed
Project Leader Mike Bryant announced today that, effective immediately, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is open to the public. Regular public programs will resume on Tuesday, September 6. Since the last Red Wolf Howling of the season was canceled for tonight, a special howling has been scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, September 1 at 7:30pm. Interested persons should register by calling 252-216-9464. Due to impacts from the storm, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge will remain closed.
Refuge staff have surveyed roads and other areas of Alligator River Refuge by air, and no downed trees or washouts are apparent. A group of volunteers from Coastal Kayaks cleared the paddling trails on Tuesday. Almost no storm damage has been documented on this refuge; however, the public is advised to drive with caution and report any problems to the refuge office at 252-473-1131.
On Alligator River, the fall programming schedule will be in effect. The program schedule may be viewed at http://www.fws.gov/alligatorriver/spec.html. All volunteers activities will also resume immediately on this refuge.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge received extensive damage from Hurricane Irene. The Visitor Center and North Pond Wildlife Trail appear to have suffered only minimal impacts. However, in addition to the major island erosion that occurred severing NC Highway 12 in multiple locations, a large breach in the westernmost dike of North Pond occurred. Pea Island will remain closed to the public until the NCDOT reopens NC Highway 12 south of Oregon Inlet.
Turtle Patrol and Turtle Watch volunteers programs have been canceled for the remainder of the 2011 season. The two unhatched sea turtle nests appear to have survived the storm; however, nightly monitoring of the nests is not prudent at this time.
For more information visit the refuge web sites: http://www.fws.gov/alligatorriver or http://www.fws.gov/peaisland or call 252-473-1131.