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About the Refuge

Shoreline at Block Island - USFWS.

Located approximately 12 miles offshore on picturesque Block Island, this small refuge provides important habitat for wildlife, and a place for people to appreciate the natural environment of the island. The refuge was established in 1973 with the transfer of 28 acres from the U.S. Coast Guard, and has grown to it's current size of 134 acres today. Block Island National Wildlife Refuge is administered as part of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which manages all six of the National Wildlife Refuges in Rhode Island, and is headquartered in Charlestown, Rhode Island.

Refuge lands on Block Island are most notable for the large concentration (over 70 species) of migratory songbirds which visit the area each fall. Located in the Atlantic flyway, many young, inexperienced songbirds "overfly" the mainland and stopover on Block Island before continuing their migration. The result is a cornucopia of young migratory songbirds from a variety of different species. Block Island is internationally recognized as one of the most important migratory bird habitats on the east Coast, attracting hundreds of "birders" to the Island each fall. The refuge is also home to the largest gull colony in Rhode Island.

Block Island NWR Congressional Fact Sheet 2011

Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex brochure (pdf)

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2015
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