Current Conditions and Closures


July 27, 2021                                                                           

Contact: Julia Pinnix, Temporary Visitor Services Manager, 509-393-6507, Julia_Pinnix@fws.gov,

Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, 95 Sterling Hwy #1, Homer, AK 99603                                        

 

Islands and Ocean Visitor Center Closes Temporarily

 

Out of concern for the health of our visitors, employees, and volunteers, the visitor center for Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, Islands and Ocean, will temporarily close to indoor public access on July 27. Staff will continue to share information and greet visitors daily from 9 am to 5 pm at an outdoor station located near the center’s front doors. Outdoor activities and ranger-led programs will also continue.

 

"This decision is painful, but necessary,” said Refuge Manager Steve Delehanty. "Keeping people safe is non-negotiable. That includes our staff, volunteers, and the visiting public. We’ve adjusted our operations accordingly in response to the recent increase in Covid-19 cases on the Southern Kenai Peninsula.  According to the data collected by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the current spike of cases in the area is higher than at any other time during the pandemic except for the period of Nov. 19-Dec. 2, 2020.

 

The refuge will continue to monitor local conditions and evaluate how best to safely increase public access to the visitor center if the number of cases declines. Said Delehanty, “We will resume indoor operations as soon as it is safe to do so.  Meanwhile, we have great outdoor experiences for people to enjoy here at the headquarters for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and of course the refuge lands themselves all remain open for public use and enjoyment, as they have throughout the pandemic."

To learn more about outdoor programs offered, visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Alaska_Maritime/visit/ranger_programs.aspx or call 907-235-6546 or 833-808-4796.

The refuge, as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is following federal, state, and local public health authority guidance as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Please check the Alaska Maritime Refuge websites for updates: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/alaska_maritime/.

Facebook users can follow at: https://www.facebook.com/AlaskaMaritimeNationalWildlifeRefuge. Virtual visitors can experience a 3-D interactive tour of the visitor center online: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=n8kS3E22gn1&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery .

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov