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Friends of Aransas & Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuges

Hatchling_512x219The Friends of Aransas and Matagorda Island (FAMI) was organized in 1997 by a handful of local citizens who cared about the refuge and wanted to make a difference.

Since then, membership has grown and the group has become an important partner in the conservation mission of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Support offered by the FAMI includes staffing the visitor center, leading van tours, conducting both on and off-refuge presentations, school programs, guided walking tours, Christmas Bird Count sponsorship, and more.

In 2000, the non-profit organization assumed operation of the visitor center nature store. FAMI members provided the full range of retail management functions on a volunteer basis, with day-to-day operations provided by refuge staff and volunteers. The Nature Store offers drinks, snacks, mosquito repellent and more. You will find a large variety of nature-related products from children’s games and books to T-shirts and field guides for the experienced birder or naturalist. All profits go back to the refuge to support needed projects.

With profits from the store, FAMI is able to support and fund refuge projects, including:

  • Water and windmill restoration 
  • Prairie restoration 
  • Wetland enhancement at the Matagorda Island unit
  • Control of exotic and invasive species
  • Support for special events and programs, including youth hunts, Refuge Week Celebration, family fishing day and staffing booths at local events.

Mission Statement for the Friends of Aransas & Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge: work to support and assist the Aransas and Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex in its goal of enhancing habitat and wildlife and encouraging compatible wildlife-dependent public uses of the refuges through educational, interpretive, scientific and other activities appropriate to the mission of these refuges.

For more information on the Friends or to learn about the important work they do, please visit their website.

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2013
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