U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Merritt Island
National Wildlife Refuge


American Avocets use the shallow, marshy areas of the refuge in the winter and can usually be seen on Black Point Wildlife Drive foraging for insects and small crustaceans.
State Road 402 (5 miles east of Titusville)
Titusville, FL   32782
E-mail: merrittisland@fws.gov
Phone Number: 321-861-0667
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/
American Avocets are just one of the migratory birds that visit Merritt Island NWR in the winter. Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds use the refuge from Oct. to March.
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
Self-guided and volunteer-lead education programs are available for schools, universities and professional groups. The visitor information center offers exhibits and film presentations and educational brochures and booklets. The Sendler Education Pavilion, a facility designed for environmental education programming, is available by reservation. A "Planning Your Field Trip Packet" is also available.

Fishing
Fishing and crabbing is permitted on the Refuge in accordance with State regulations in the open waters of the Indian River, Banana River, Mosquito Lagoon, mosquito control impoundments and interior lakes except for the Kennedy Space Center security areas and Black Point Wildlife Drive. Please contact Refuge headquarters for specific information. Boat/canoe launching is limited to designated launch areas. Five boat launches are located at the Refuge. Boat speed regulations are in effect in several areas.

Hunting
Waterfowl hunting is permitted on 36,000 acres of the Refuge's 140,000 acres in designated hunt areas from November through January. Concentrations of waterfowl occur in the open waters of Mosquito Lagoon and in the brackish and fresh water impoundments during the fall and winter. Common species include scaup, mottled ducks, blue-winged teal, pintail and American wigeon. The open season for ducks and coots is concurrent with seasons established by the State of Florida. A Refuge permit and a hunter safety certification is required and all state, federal and Refuge regulations apply. Please contact the Refuge headquarters for specific information.

Interpretation
The visitor information center is highly recommended for the first-time visitor. The center has many interesting wildlife and habitat exhibits and an information desk. A 20-minute introductory video on the Refuge is available for viewing upon request.

A small auditorium that seats 60 is available for prescheduled programs. A sales outlet store is located at the visitor information center, which sells educational and interpretive products. Free interpretive leaflets, maps and brochures are also available.

Interpretive signs describing the history and natural history of the area are found on several of the hiking trails.

Wildlife Observation
The best place to view wildlife on the Refuge is Black Point Wildlife Drive. This seven-mile one-way, self-guided drive travels through fresh and saltwater marshes. The drive offers several numbered stops, which are described in a brochure available at the entrance to the drive or at the visitor information center. Wading birds, shorebirds, raptors, waterfowl, alligators, river otters, bobcats and other species of wildlife can be spotted along the drive. Buses and large motor vehicles are prohibited on the drive.

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Hours
The Refuge is open to the public during daylight hours only, year round. The visitor information center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends. The center is closed Sundays from April-October and on all federal holidays. The center is located five miles east of U.S. 1 in Titusville on SR402.

Due to national security issues relating to the space program, public access to the Refuge may vary. The Refuge is closed four days prior to a shuttle launch date and on the day of the shuttle landing. Please call 321-861-0667 for the latest information.

Entrance Fees
Passes available at the visitor information center include the Federal Duck Stamp ($15.00), a Golden Eagle Passport ($65.00), Golden Age Passports for those 62 years of age or older ($10.00), and the Golden Access Passports (free) for the blind or permanently disabled.

Use Fees
Qouta Hunt permit $12.50 per hunt (1 or 2 days per permit)
 
 
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