Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 39
316 Marsh Causeway
Knotts Island, NC 27950

Contact: Mike Hoff 252-429-3100

News Release

May 24, 2010

Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge will “Open Roads” May 29-31, 2010, prior to temporary closure

Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge Manager Mike Hoff announced today that “Open Roads Days” will be held from 7:00 am until sunset on May 29-31, 2010. The public will be able to drive the roads normally closed to vehicular traffic around the refuge impoundments at the end of Mackay Island Road. Immediately following this event, the area will be closed to all access to allow for a pump replacement project.

This pump is used to manage water levels on the 256-acre East Pool Impoundment. “Proper function of this pump is essential to adequately manage the impoundment and meet our annual waterfowl management objectives”, Hoff said. “The temporary area closure is unfortunate, but necessary, to ensure contractors can work free from disruption and complete the project as quickly and safely as possible. Having the public is a construction area would also be a safety concern,” he added. The Refuge Headquarters area will be opened during this Open Roads event and weekends during the temporary Mackay Island Road closure. Other activities during the Open Roads Days may include hiking, bicycling, fishing, and wildlife observation and photography. The refuge speed limit is 15 mph, and visitors are asked to park in safe, suitable locations. The Headquarters and Open Roads are located 1 mile and 6.2 miles, respectively, south of the NC state line on Hwy. 615, Knotts Island, NC and are marked by large brown refuge signs. Knotts Island may be reached by traveling south on Princess Anne Road from Virginia Beach or by taking the free ferry from Currituck, NC. For more information, contact the Refuge Headquarters at 252-429-3100.

King Rail
Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge is known widely by birders as "the" place to see King Rail, like the one shown above. "Open Roads Days” are scheduled this week-end May 29-31) from 7:00 am until sunset. Photo Credit: Jeff Lewis.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy ibis abound these days on Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge. Come out any day this week-end from 7:00 am until sunset to see these unique birds and many others during "Open Roads Days." Photo Credit: Jeff Lewis.