A Talk on the Wild Side.
The moon covers the center of the sun during the November 13, 2012, total solar eclipse, visible from the southern hemisphere. Photo courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Get ready. The nation’s first total solar eclipse in 38 years is on its way.
On August 21, the moon will pass between the earth and the sun, briefly blocking out the sun for a wide swath of the United States. The swath reaches coast to coast from Portland, Oregon, to Charlotte, N.C. And along the way, more than a dozen national wildlife refuges are bracing for crowds.
They are redeploying staff and adding volunteers and setting up special parking areas.
And many are setting guidelines on how to welcome eclipse viewers and share their excitement, while protecting fragile wildlife habitat and maintaining public safety.More than a dozen national wildlife refuges in the lower 48 are in the “path of totality” of the August 21 solar eclipse. That means they will experience the full blockage of the sun during the two-to-three minutes of the eclipse. Map by Liz Cruz/USFWS
‘It’s a pretty big deal, especially in Oregon where the best chance of seeing the eclipse occurs,’ says Erin Holmes, deputy supervisor of the Service’s Pacific Northwest region.
In the Midwest, a solar eclipse-theme rock concert near Crab Orchard Refuge is expected to add to visitors there. The refuge will waive usual entrance fees that day. Look for more information on the refuge website.
A photo essay from the National Wildlife Refuge System looks at what you can expect if you head to one or another of these refuges.
Look for a new online story about your national wildlife refuges every Wednesday on the Refuge System home page.
Susan Morse, National Wildlife Refuge System communications