Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you do the following:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on all federal lands.
  • Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other groups.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick


Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge Established in Maine

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acquired the first parcel of land in southern Maine for the Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) with the purchase of a 48-acre forested property in South Berwick and Berwick.

Great Thicket NWR in Maine Press Release

Around the Refuge

Maine Junior Duck Stamp Best of Show Winner Places Nationally

2021 Junior Duck Stamp Ariah Lowell Winner Promo

The national winners of the 2021 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest have been announced. Maine's own Ariah Lowell, 12, of Biddeford, placed 3rd overall in the national art contest with her colorful Harlequin duck. Congratulations Ariah!

News Release National JDS Winners

Sense of Wonder Art Contest

Art Contest March 2021 Ariah Lowell

Express your love and appreciation of the refuge through photography, poetry, and other art media during this year-long celebration of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge's 50th anniversary.

Sense of Wonder Art Contest

Rachel Carson's Conservation Champions: Businesses for a Greener Future

Inspired by the legacy of Rachel Carson and 50 years of conservation in her name, the refuge, with input from community members, has developed a voluntary community conservation project that seeks to inspire positive environmental actions to benefit local communities, wildlife, and habitats.

Rachel Carson's Conservation Champions Information
Celebrating 50 Years

Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation

Refuge 50th Anniversary Logo 200 px

The latest post in the "Sense of Wonder in the Field” blog series is hot off the press! In it, Gavin Shwahla, the 2019 avian monitoring intern at the refuge, reflects on his summer of fieldwork collecting valuable data on the saltmarsh sparrow, a vulnerable species of our southern Maine salt marsh systems. He revels in the symphony of the salt marsh, yet recounts the necessary temporary disturbance of the very music he so loves in order to do the work needed to protect this threatened species. (background artwork courtesy of Danielle Lehoux/Lehoux Art)

50th Anniversary Blog Posts

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS