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Conscience Point
National Wildlife Refuge

Snowy egret in tidal marsh (courtesy Sheldon Pollack)
North Sea, NY   
E-mail: longislandrefuges@fws.gov
Phone Number: 631-286-0485
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Migratory birds like this egret rely on the protection of Conscience Point's shoreline and wetland habitats for survival. (courtesy Sheldon Pollack)
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Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge
The Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge was established July 20, 1971 as a land gift from Stanley Howard. The 60-acre refuge is located in the Town of North Sea on the north shore of Long Island's south fork. The refuge protects grasslands, oak-beech forest, shrub habitats, kettle holes, freshwater marsh and saltmarsh.

The refuge grasslands are a habitat model for maritime grasslands, a disappearing habitat type on Long Island due to development. Maritime grasslands are native grasslands composed of little bluestem grass, switch grass, poverty grass, hairgrass, and Prickly pear cactus.

Wildlife on the refuge is as diverse as its habitats. Waterfowl are primarily black ducks and bufflehead. The grasslands are being managed and enlarged specifically to attract grassland dependent birds such as grasshopper sparrow, eastern meadowlark, savannah sparrow and bobolink. Due to its coastal location, the refuge is heavily used by migratory songbirds, shorebirds and raptors. The refuge also supports endangered and threatened species.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The refuge has a wide variety of habitats from uplands to wetlands with abounding bird and other wildlife populations.

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The Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge was established July 20, 1971 as a land gift from Stanley Howard under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act.

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The refuge is closed to the public.

Recreation and Education Opportunities
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Management Activities
The refuge is managed for migratory birds, wintering waterfowl and to maintain habitat diversity. Habitat management activities at the refuge are principally aimed at maintaining the maritime grassland and restoring the saltmarsh. These activities include burning by prescribed fire, removing red cedar, brush hogging grasslands, plugging drainage ditches, maintaining a songbird and wood duck nest box program, and erecting osprey nesting platforms. The maritime grassland is monitored at the refuge using vegetation transect surveys. Wildlife surveys conducted at the refuge document the abundance and diversity of waterbirds, nesting songbirds, grassland-dependent birds, and mammals.