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Sachuest Point
National Wildlife Refuge

769 Sachuest Point Road
Middletown, RI   02842
Phone Number: 401-847-5511
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge
Occupying a peninsula between the Sakonnet River and Rhode Island sound, the 242 acre Sachuest Point National Wildlife refuge is a very popular site for the over 65,000 annual visitors each year.

The refuge sports a newly renovated visitor center, over 2.5 miles of nature trails, viewing platforms, and a number of Refuge volunteers present to help visitors and to help in management of the refuge.

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is renowned for its fantastic saltwater fishing, and the presence of the largest winter population of harlequin ducks on the East Coast.

Once a horse racing area, then a Naval communications site, and now a National Wildlife Refuge, the are is steeped in history.

From saltmarsh and beach strand habitats to upland shrub dominated lands, the refuge supports over 200 bird species, with such notable occasional visitors such as the peregrine falcon, northern harrier, and the snowy owl.

Sachuest Point, along with the four other National Wildlife Refuges in the State, are administered by the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, headquartered in Charlestown, RI.

The new Kettle Pond Visitor Center and headquarters located in Charlestown, RI,, celebrates the Sachuest Point Refuge and all of the other refuges in Rhode Island. This facility contains interactive exhibits, displays, a sales area, classrooms for special events, and knowledgeable people where visitors can come and explore the refuges and learn about the wildlife resources and coastal environments of each refuge.

Getting There . . .
The refuge is located in Middletown, Rhode Island. Take route 1 South to route 138 East, over the Newport Bridge. Take the Newport exit and pass through downtown Newport on route 138A. Once through the downtown, you will pass First (or Newport) beach. Just past First beach, take a right onto Purgatory Road. Take a right onto Sachuest Point Drive and follow to the end, which will bring you directly into the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge parking lot.

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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

Over 150 different bird species call Sachuest Point home, with thousands of other birds visiting during the fall migration. Located on the Atlantic flyway, the largest concentration of wintering harlequin ducks occurs here.

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From the 1600's to the 1800's, Sachuest Point was used for farming and sheep grazing. During World War II, the Navy used the site as a rifle range and communications center. In 1970, beginning with a donation from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge was established.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Controlling the spread and invasion of non native and undesirable plant and animal species is a priority for the refuge. Approximately 40 acres per year are being treated to return native shrubs and grasses which have been displaced by undesirable vegetation. Currently, over 70% of the vegetation on the refuge is considered an invasive species.

In cooperation with the Town of Middletown, the natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Coastal Resource Management Council, the Sachuest Point landfill remediation project is underway, which will not only permanently close the old landfill, but will also result in creation of wetlands at the site.

High recreational pressures requires a considerable amount of time assisting refuge visitors in a safe and enjoyable visit.