Block Island National Wildlife Refuge is unique in several ways. Unlike Rhode Island’s other four refuges, it is not located on the mainland but rather 12 miles off the state’s southern shore on Block Island. This refuge is distinctive because it works closely with other conservation organizations in an effort to protect land. Most importantly, the refuge is exceptional because of its location on an internationally recognized island, especially for wildlife conservation.

Block Island Refuge is primarily upland, except for beach habitat at Cow Cove, Sandy Point, West Beach, and Beane Point. Beach habitat includes beach grass, northern bayberry, wild rose, and beach plum, Upland shrub habitat includes northern arrowwood , pokeweed, Virginia creeper, northern bayberry, and pine trees.

Two federally listed species are known to breed on Block Island: the American burying beetle (endangered) and piping plover (threatened). The Service has completed recovery plans for both species.
Block Island's North Point serves as crucial resting and breeding site for seals and other wildlife.

Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program, in collaboration with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nature Conservancy of Block Island, are urging visitors to use caution at the north tip of Sandy Point on Block Island and to maintain a safe distance from seals resting on the beach.

Block Island’s scenic North Point is a well-known favorite spot for visitors to enjoy nature. “It’s crucial to remember that this area serves as a resting and breeding site for seals and other wildlife. While these magnificent creatures attract admirers eager to observe and photograph them, it's essential to be mindful of their habitat and well-being,” pointed out U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Block Island National Wildlife Refuge Manager Karrie Schwaab. Federal Marine Protection guidelines stipulate that viewing seals should occur from a minimum distance of 150 feet.

Past hunting information:

Hunting information and brochures are available on our hunting page.

Location and Contact Information

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