Refuge Accepting Public Comments

The "Compatibility Determination" for Environmental Education, Interpretation, Wildlife Observation, and Photography on Blackwater and Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuges is now available for public comment.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has announced the Compatibility Determination (CD) for Environmental Education, Interpretation, Wildlife Observation, and Photography on Blackwater and Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is available for public comment. Prior to allowing a new, or continuing an existing activity on a refuge, the Service must determine if the use is compatible with the establishment purpose of the refuge. The draft Compatibility Determination evaluating these uses on the refuges is now open for public comment.  

According to US Fish and Wildlife Service policy, priority public uses are wildlife-dependent uses – hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation – under the Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd– 668ee), as amended by the Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (Public Law 105–57).  A separate CD addresses hunting and fishing.

The compatibility determination is available for viewing on the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge website via the link below. Comments should be submitted in writing to ray_paterra@fws.gov, or to the attention of Mr. Ray Paterra, Visitor Services Manager, at Chesapeake Marshlands NWRC, 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD 21613. Comments will be accepted until Saturday, September 25, 2021.

View the draft Compatibility Determination here.