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National Wildlife Refuge

Federally endangered sandplain gerardia (copyright D. Sias/TNC)
500 St. Marks Ln.
Islip, NY   11751
E-mail: longislandrefuges@fws.gov
Phone Number: 631-286-0485
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Seatuck NWR is being tested as a transplant site for the federally endangered plant, sandplain gerardia. (copyright D. Sias/TNC)
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Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge
Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge is located on the south shore of Long Island and is managed as part of the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge consists of 196 acres bordering the Great South Bay, separated from the Atlantic Ocean only by Fire Island. Situated in a heavily developed urban area, the refuge is an oasis for many species of migratory birds and waterfowl.

Approximately one half of the refuge consists of tidal marsh, which serves a vast number of waterfowl in the winter months. The refuge attracts waterbirds, white-tailed deer, red fox, and migratory songbirds and raptors. The Refuge has been classified as part of the larger Great South Bay, a significant coastal habitat. Management activities include forest and grassland protection and management, wetland restoration, wildlife nesting structure maintenance, and habitat restoration.

Getting There . . .
Although the refuge is not open to the public, you can view the Seatuck NWR from South Bay Ave. in Islip, NY. From the Long Island Expwy. (I-495), Exit 56, or from Sunrise Hwy. (Rte. 27),Exit 45, follow Rte.111S to the end at Montauk Hwy. (Rte. 27A)/Main Street. Right onto Main St. Left onto South Bay Ave. View the Refuge on the eastern side of the road & an Audubon Sanctuary on the west side. South Bay Ave. ends at the Town Beach, access to the beach for residents with permits only.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Uplands Upland habitats form about half the area of the Seatuck NWR, including old fields, brush, and woodland habitats. The upland habitats are equally divided between mixed-oak woodland, red maple stands, upland shrub, and grasslands, and includes pine barren habitat. Seatuck holds the potential to be a transplant site for the federally endangered plant, sandplain gerardia, because of its soil type and associated grassland plants.

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The Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge was established on September 26, 1968 as a land gift from the Peters family under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. Once a "gentleman's estate," Natalie Peters Webster and her husband, Charles, maintained the land surrounding their home as gardens, often winning awards for horticulture. The Websters also raised dogs and birds and welcomed members of the community onto their home to enjoy the natural surroundings. Before her death, Mrs. Webster granted ownership of her family's land to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to be used as an "inviolate sanctuary" for migratory birds.

Today, the land supports several species of migratory birds, especially waterfowl. One building remaining intact from the Websters estate, called the L-shaped or the C barn, is on the National Register for Historic Places because of its architectural style.

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The refuge is closed to the public.

Recreation and Education Opportunities
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Management Activities
The Seatuck NWR is actively managed for migratory birds, particularly waterbirds and raptors, and to maintain and enhance habitat diversity.

Both upland and wetland habitats at the Seatuck NWR are actively managed. Wetland management activities conducted at the refuge include restoring tidal flow, blocking manmade drainage ditches, open marsh water management, and wood duck nest box maintenance. Upland management activities include erecting osprey nesting platforms, brush hogging grasslands and upland shrub habitats, prescribed burning, restoring derelict lands to native habitat, white-tailed deer management, songbird nest box program, and an owl monitoring program which is conducted by the South Shore Audubon Society.

Wildlife monitoring conducted at the refuge includes waterbird surveys, migratory songbird and raptor surveys, white-tailed deer counts, and mosquito sampling.