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


WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 1, 2012 – The Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society (CWRS) headquartered in Manteo, NC, has received the prestigious Refuge System Friends Group of the Year Award by the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

“Refuge System Friends Groups provide unheralded support for our nation’s national wildlife refuges,” Evan Hirsche, NWRA president, said. “These groups of volunteers work tirelessly to help make our refuges our country’s crown jewels of conservation.”

CWRS president Stanley Oliver said the group has approximately 1,000 dedicated members and a budget of about $250,000 annually. Their main work focuses on the Alligator River and Pea Island NWRs, he said.

The group is noted for its work with the Wings Over Water event, now in its 15th year. CWRS uses funds raised from the event to support its transportation grants program for school buses and drivers to bring school children from nine counties in eastern North Carolina to local national wildlife refuges. In addition to transportation, up to 25 percent of the grant funds are used for supplies and equipment related to the educational refuge trips.

CWRS also sponsors a number of regular events throughout the year including weekly kayak and canoe tours, education programs, Red Wolf “howlings” and tram tours.

Additional information about CWRS can be obtained by emailing them at

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge Association is to conserve America’s wildlife heritage for future generations through strategic programs that protect, enhance, and expand the National Wildlife Refuge System and the landscapes beyond its boundaries that secure its ecological integrity.

For additional information about this award and the National Wildlife Refuge Association, please visit:

For additional information about the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation visit:


CWRS Board
CWRS Board in front of newly "dried in" Coastal NC National Wildlife Refuges Gatway Visitor Center
Left to right:
Front row-kneeling: Bonnie Strawser (Refuge Visitor Services Manager and CWRS Liaison), Martha Howell (secretary), Stanley Oliver (President).
Middle row: Mike Bryant (Refuge Manager), Gail Dreis, Tracey Rock, Warren Davis (treasurer), Ann Groves.
Back row: Bob Glennon, Bob Webster.
Not pictured: Joyce (Vice President) and Carl Bornfriend.