John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge at Pettaquamscutt Cove
Northeast Region
 

About Us

Located within the picturesque Narrow River on the Southern Coast of Rhode Island, this Refuge is comparatively small in size, but big in protecting the unique features of this area. At 554 acres, the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge at Pettaquamscutt Cove provides habitat for the largest black duck population in Rhode Island, and is recognized under international agreements as a critically important area for this species. The scenic vistas offered by the refuge and surrounding areas are well noted and attract visitors from throughout the region.

Originally named the Pettaquamscutt Cove National Wildlife Refuge in 1988, it was renamed the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge at Pettaquamscutt Cove in 1999, in honor of the late Senator who was a leading conservationist in the nation, and a strong supporter of the National Wildlife Refuges in Rhode Island.

This unique National Wildlife Refuge is administered as part of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex which manages all five of the National Wildlife Refuges in Rhode Island, and is headquartered in Charlestown, Rhode Island.

The refuge contains expansive saltmarsh habitats and adjacent uplands which teem with a variety of wildlife including great egrets, herons, and several species of plovers and other shorebirds.

The establishment purposes for the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge at Pettaquamscutt Cove are:

  1. To protect and enhance the populations of black duck and other waterfowl, geese, shorebirds, terns, wading birds, and other wildlife using the refuge;
  2. To provide for the conservation and management of fish and wildlife within the refuge;
  3. To fulfill international treaty obligations of the U.S. respecting fish and wildlife;
  4. To provide opportunities for scientific research, environmental education, and wildlife-oriented recreation.

– 102 Stat. 3177, Nov. 5, 1988 (Public Law 100-610)

Kettle Pond Visitor Center and headquarters located in Charlestown, RI, celebrates the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge at Pettaquamscutt Cove and all of the other refuges in Rhode Island (Ninigret, Trustom Pond, Block Island and Sachuest Point). This facility contains interactive exhibits, displays, a sales area, classrooms for special events, and knowledgeable people where visitors can come and explore the refuges and learn about the wildlife resources and coastal environments of each refuge. For more information on Kettle Pond Visitor Center go to http://www.fws.gov/ninigret/complex/

Aerial photograph with boundaries marking refuge property, mostly Pettaquamscutt Cover side.

Last updated: January 10, 2012