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A blanket flower blossom at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Photo by Eileen Tramontana, USFWS.

Southeast Friends Groups

“Friends” are private, independent, nonprofit organizations that build links between communities and national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries. Friends Group members partner with refuges and hatcheries and undertake a variety of activities that support the station, including:

  • Organizing public events;
  • Educating the local community about conservation;;
  • Photography;
  • Restoring habitat;
  • Maintaining trails;
  • Coordinating volunteers;
  • Operating nature stores;
  • Fundraising;
  • And more!

Groups in the Southeast

There are 48 Friends Groups supporting 42 national wildlife refuges and 6 national fish hatcheries across the Southeast. Search for a group near you.

    Grant opportunities

    National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Grants NFWF provides funding on a competitive basis to projects that sustain, restore, and enhance our nation’s fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats.

    Red Lodge Clearinghouse Funding Database Originally founded in 2001 by renowned fashion designer and philanthropist, the late Liz Claiborne and her husband, Art Ortenberg, Red Lodge Clearinghouse serves the needs of individuals and organizations engaged in collaborative natural resources management.

    A kneeling biologist measures the back of a half-buried sea turtle
    A member of Ticatove, the Friends Group for Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, measures a sea turtle during night patrol. Photo by USFWS.

    Start a friends group

    There are many refuges and hatcheries in the Southeast that do not have a Friends Group supporting their operations. Learn how to start a Friends Group in your community.

    More information

    Visit our national Friends Group website to find additional resources and learn about the history of Friends Groups.

    General information about Friends Groups for fish hatcheries is available via our partners, the National Fisheries Friends Partnership.

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    Looking for a media contact? Reach out to a regional spokesperson.

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