There are events year-round at the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Check out our program calendar to find one near you!RI Complex Program Calendar
About the Complex
The refuge totals 409 acres on the coast of Rhode Island.
Ninigret is managed as part of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Learn more about the complex
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
Around the Refuge
- June 26, 2015
As of 9:00am on Friday June 26, 2015, public access to the East Beach Sand Trail will be allowed up to camping area 2 (sites 11 – 20) of the sand trail. This opening will allow camping in ten camping sites in area 1 (sites 1 – 10) and will also allow sand trail use for the 4 x 4 barrier beach users and fisherman.
Area 2 camping area will remain closed until approximately July 29, 2015 to provide protection for the Piping Plover, a small shorebird that is listed as threatened on the Federal and State endangered species lists. All alternatives to avoid a full closure of the sand trail were reviewed and discussed between USFWS and DEM staff and the decision was made to allow access to a safe point and avoid further conflicts between wildlife and off-road vehicles.
Hurricane Sandy changed the face of the Rhode Island coastline and beaches for the public as well as for piping plovers. On east beach there are many over wash areas that provide access for young birds and piping plover chicks have been feeding and taking refuge along the sand trail. Through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, service staff and volunteers monitor the nests and broods on a daily basis and are looking forward to the time when the young birds are ready to fly and the trails can be re-opened and protective roping can be removed. Throughout this summer and into the fall- DEM, USFWS and CRMC will work together to plan restoration of these dunes in order to restore vegetation between the beach and the sand trail which will reduce the likelihood of plovers utilizing the sand trail. Click here to access the DEM website and full press release
Starting in June 2015, the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex is launching its volunteer Weed Warrior program with the goal of maintaining healthy National Wildlife Refuges by identifying and eradicating invasive plant species. Invasive plant species can decrease the success of native plants, birds, and other wildlife characteristic of Rhode Island.
Volunteers and staff will be meeting at a designated refuge each week and will be removing invasives from 10am until 2pm. If you are unable to meet at 10am but would still like to come for an hour or two, this is an option as well!Click here for a full list of Weed Warrior events taking place this Summer!
The Atlantic piping plover is a small, stocky, sandy-colored bird resembling a sandpiper. It was listed as a federally threatened species protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1986. This protection resulted in the USFWS Atlantic Piping Plover Recovery Program whose objective is ultimately to reach and maintain a plover population that will lead to the delisting of the species and focuses heavily on long-term management of plover habitat.Piping Plover Fact Sheet
Wildlife Wednesdays presentations will take place every Wednesday from June 17 through August 19 (or 26), at 7:00 PM, at one of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Visitor Centers:
► Kettle Pond, 50 Bend Road, Charlestown, Rhode Island
► Sachuest Point, 769 Sachuest Point Road, Middletown, Rhode IslandWildlife Wednesdays 2015
The federally threatened piping plover is a small, stocky, sandy-colored bird resembling a sandpiper. The adult has yellow-orange legs, a black band across the forehead from eye to eye, and a black ring around the base of its neck. Like other plovers, it runs in short starts and stops. When still, the piping plover blends into the pale background of open, sandy habitat on outer beaches where it feeds and nests.
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Jun 30, 2015