Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex Project Leader Marcia Pradines Long was recently featured in a video that provides a behind-the-scenes look into refuge management. The clip was produced by The Pew Charitable Trusts, an organization that partners with independent philanthropists, private businesses, and governmental agencies to build effective, science-based solutions for today's most difficult problems. This film introduces some of the intricate challenges facing refuges today and the multifaceted, collaborative nature of potential solutions.
Since the 1930s, 5,000 acres ofat Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge have transformed to open water due to sea-level rise. As marsh disappears across the entire eastern seaboard, species like black rails are losing essential habitat. Refuges increase both awareness of these challenges and stewardship of public lands by creating space for visitors to witness the changing landscape firsthand.
“There is no time to waste,” said Pradines Long. "We have a limited little window to be able to save our marsh. It’s (sea-level rise) certainly an issue we cannot tackle, alone. We need all our partners and we need the public. We need the public to care.”
Inspired by her late father, an angler and outdoor enthusiast, Pradines Long is a dedicated champion for wildlife. As an angler and hunter herself, she recognizes the importance of access as well as conservation. The people who are out there every day enjoying the resource are the people that fall in love with and ultimately protect these lands.
This video highlights the importance of forward planning for refuge management. For decision makers, it is not simply about what is desired today but balancing the needs of the present with the potential of the future.
“I have to look at the big picture,” Pradines Long said. “Not just what’s going on today, not just the sea-level rise that is at our feet right now, but what is the future?”
It is the dedication of staff and leaders like Pradines Long that will help ensure our lands, water, and wildlife are taken care of for generations to come.
Click here to watch the video and learn more: Saving Our Marsh: Protecting Blackwater Wildlife Refuge
Or check out The Pew Charitable Trusts' podcast episode featuring this video: Ocean, People, Planet: A Wildlife Refuge On The Brink