Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
    • Commercial Filming and Photography


A Film Permit is required for commercial filming on National Wildlife Refuges.   A permit will not be required for personal, noncommercial filming and photography activities or news coverage.   Commercial filming means filming that involves the digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person or business, or other entity for a market audience.  This includes recordings such as those used for a documentary, television, or feature film, advertisement or similar project. The Film Permit will help insure compatibility with refuge purposes, public use, ongoing research, or to protect Refuge resources. Commercial filming will not be permitted if it is determined if:

  • There is likelihood of wildlife disturbance.
  • There would be an unreasonable disruption of the public’s use and enjoyment of the site (beyond short-term interruptions).
  • The activity poses a health or safety risk to the public

A bond or cash deposit is required to insure the area is left in its original condition and the amount is based on the complexity of the production, level of staff involvement and the potential for wildlife or habitat disturbance (may be waived).  General liability insurance in the amount of $300,000 is required to protect the U.S. Government from claims or litigation connected with injury or damage resulting from the actions of the Permitee or his agent or employer.  The insurance should name the U.S. Federal government/Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge as additionally insured .The use of explosives or electronic sound making equipment is expressly forbidden.  No animals may be brought onsite.  The use of props and equipment other than photographic equipment must be specified in your application and approved.  All Refuge regulations apply. The Commercial Film Permit application with proof of insurance must be submitted at least seven business days prior to filming.  Once all aspects of the permit have been approved, a Commercial Film Permit will be issued. 

To apply for a Film Permit please provide the following information:

  • Permitee name and address
  • Provide a synopsis of the production as it will pertain to the refuge
  • Provide details of shooting schedule (dates, hours per day, special production equipment).
  • When and where the shoot will occur (if known) and subject matter.
  • How many people will be involved in the film production.
  • Describe any props and special equipment needed for the production.
  • Name and title of the production, name and address and phone numbers of sponsoring company.

After reviewing your application we may contact you for additional information.  If the application is complete we will notify you when it is approved.  Please submit the requested information to the address listed on the website.


Commercial Use Policy  Commercial Use Permit


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