Building a Stronger Coast
Aerial shot of Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge - Greg Thompson/USFWS

Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge

Location: Westbrook, CT


Resilience Outline Resilience Projects Recovery Icon Recovery Projects

Resil Shield

Project: A Stronger Coast - Three USFWS Northeast Region National Wildlife Refuge Projects to Increase Coastal Resilience and Preparedness

Location: Regional

Project Type: Resilience

Funding awarded: $2,060,000

Project Summary

The three projects included in this study are intended to identify vulnerabilities and strengths of over 70 miles of shoreline at coastal refuges, assess the integrity of over 30,000 acres of coastal marsh that protect adjacent shorelines and help preserve the species they support.

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Recovery hammer

Project: Restore Falkner Island Access

Project Type: Recovery

Funding awarded: $438,615

Project Summary

This project rebuilds a dock at the Falkner Island unit that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge.

Conservation / Restoration Goals

  • Restore watercraft access to Falkner Island unit

Project Benefits

  • Restores island access to refuge staff, friends group and for public events
  • Allows for better monitoring of migratory bird populations

Additional Details

The Falkner Island Unit is home to more than 40 pairs of nesting federally endangered roseate terns and more than 2,000 nesting pairs of common terns. The Falkner Island Lighthouse, constructed in 1802 and commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, is the second oldest in Connecticut, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Recovery hammer

Project: Remove Debris

Funding awarded: $370,085

Project Summary

This project cleans up coastal debris deposited throughout mainland and island units at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge by Hurricane Sandy, and restores important wildlife habitat.

Conservation / Restoration Goals

  • Clear debris from the refuge's 10 units
  • Restore over 1,000 acres of forest, barrier beach, tidal wetland and fragile island habitats

Project Benefits

  • Removes hurricane debris and restores coastal habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife

Additional Details

The 10 units that make up the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge include a variety of habitats from grassy upland to tidal salt marsh. Though many refuge units are small in acreage, their importance to wildlife, especially migratory birds, is significant. The Salt Meadow Unit is used by more than 280 species of migrating neotropical birds during the spring and fall migrations.


Recovery hammer

Project: Resolve Public Safety Issues

Funding awarded: $159,720

Project Summary

This project will repair/rebuild damaged trails, boardwalks, docks and other publicly accessible features at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, including the outdoor environmental education lab at Outer Island.

Conservation / Restoration Goals

  • Restore visitor access and address public safety concerns

Project Benefits

  • Rebuilds walkways and docks to resolve public safety issues and restore visitor access
  • Repair damage to the outdoor environmental education center on Outer Island

Additional Details

The Outer Island outdoor environmental education center is a product of the refuge's partnership with Connecticut State University, and provides opportunities for young people to experience and study wildlife and ecosystems in a unique setting.

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McKinney Resilience Project Map


McKinney Recovery Project Map


Stewart B. McKinney Photos

 

 

Last updated: December 12, 2014