About the Refuge

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The Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, administered as a satellite refuge of J.N. "Ding" Darling NWR Complex, is located in Southwest Florida on the Caloosahatchee River.

The refuge was established by President Woodrow Wilson on July 1, 1920, through Executive Order 3299 as a ". . . preserve and breeding ground for native birds" upon the recommendation of Thomas and Mina Edison. Originally, the Caloosahatchee NWR consisted of several mangrove islands. However, shoreline development, dredging of the river, and construction of the I-75 bridge has changed the physical arrangement and appearance of these islands. Today, the refuge still remains approximately 40 acres of mangrove shorelines and upland island habitats. The refuge is located adjacent to the Florida Power and Light Company's Orange River Power Plant and the Orange River's outflow. The warm water outflow from the power plant is a major wintering area for the endangered West Indian manatee. 

For more information please check out the Caloosahatchee NWR Fact Sheet.