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Great River
National Wildlife Refuge

black-crowned night heron perched in tree
County Road 206
Annada, MO   63330
E-mail: greatriver@fws.gov
Phone Number: 573-847-2333
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
The Great River Refuge has been designated as a globally important bird area and provides habitat for birds such as this black-crowned night heron.
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Great River National Wildlife Refuge

All or portions of the refuge are closed due to flooding. Please contact the refuge before visiting.

The Great River National Wildlife Refuge protects approximately 11,600 acres along 120 miles of the Mississippi River, stretching north of St. Louis, Missouri. Three separate units are located in the floodplain, on both the Illinois and Missouri sides of the river.

In 1998, the Great River Refuge was designated as a globally important bird area, due to its value to shorebirds, songbirds, and waterfowl. The refuge's proximity to St. Louis provides excellent educational opportunities to a large population.

The Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge is also under the administration of the Great River Refuge. Great River Refuge, in turn, is part of the Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge complex, which also includes Port Louisa, Two Rivers, and Middle Mississippi River refuges. The complex headquarters is in Quincy, Illinois.

Getting There . . .
The headquarters for the Great River Refuge is located on the Clarence Cannon Refuge. From St. Louis, take I-70 west and take exit Highway 79 north. Take 79 north approximately 35 miles to the town of Annada. Turn right on County Road 206 and proceed one mile to the refuge office.

Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:

Your full starting address AND town and state OR zip code

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NOTE: When using this feature, you will be leaving the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service domain. We do not control the content or policies of the site you are about to visit. You should always check site policies before providing personal information or reusing content.

These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Habitats found within the refuge's three parcels include wetlands, open water, bottomland forests, and grasslands, which are important for numerous mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and hundreds of bird species.

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Long Island Division, near Quincy, Illinois, was part of the original Mark Twain Refuge when it was established back in 1958 under the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
The primary refuge management program is water level management in wetland units. A diverse program of water level and vegetation manipulations provides a wide variety of habitats. These high-quality habitats are used in different seasons by migrating waterfowl and shorebirds and nesting marsh and water birds.

Upland vegetation is controlled and manipulated by burning, discing, farming and mowing. Most former cropland is reforested.

The Delair Division is protected by a levee. An active water management program provides important benefits to waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds.

The Long Island and Fox Island divisions are not protected by levees and flood frequently. Management activities compatible with floodplain functions and conditions are a high priority for these divisions. A limited but important amount of wetland restoration work is underway at the Fox Island Division.