Conservation

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Refuge management plans are called “comprehensive conservation plans” (CCPs). The purpose of a CCP is to specify a management direction for the Refuge for the next 15 years.

  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan

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    Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge protects manatees in Kings Bay, particularly during the winter manatee season by managing seven warm-water sanctuaries. The refuge closes the sanctuaries to public access during the colder months of the year (i.e., November 15 to March 31) when manatees need warm water (> 68 degrees Fahrenheit) for survival. We may establish temporary closures at Three Sisters, House and Jurassic Springs or expand the boundaries of the permanent sanctuaries during extreme cold events. The temporary closures provide additional warm water areas for the large numbers of manatee that winter in Kings Bay. Additionally, the refuge manages the Kings Bay Manatee Protection Area year-round and rescues injured and orphaned manatees within all of Kings Bay when needed.

    The refuge staff expects to have a Draft CCP available for public review and comment during summer 2018 with a Final CCP available later in the year. Stay tuned for more details, and sign up for the mailing list to receive updates.

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  • National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act

    National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997: The NWRS Improvement Act defines a unifying mission for all refuges, including a process for determining compatible uses on refuges, and requiring that each refuge be managed according to a CCP. The NWRS Improvement  Act expressly states that wildlife conservation is the priority of System lands and that the Secretary shall ensure that the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of refuge lands are maintained. Each refuge must be managed to fulfill the specific purposes for which the refuge was established and the System mission. The first priority of each refuge is to conserve, manage, and if needed, restore fish and wildlife populations and habitats according to its purpose.

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