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Massachusetts Wildlife Refuges

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge- The Refuge consists of freshwater marsh and riverine habitat and associated wetlands located along 12 miles of the Concord and Sudbury rivers, 20 miles west of Boston. It is managed primarily for migratory waterfowl. There is an extensive public use program.
Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge- This barrier beach island refuge extends south from the elbow of Cape Cod. Ninety-four percent of the Refuge is designated Wilderness. The refuge is managed primarily for migratory birds.
Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge- Located on the tip of Great Point on Nantucket Island, this 40 acre refuge is barrier beach island habitat. Access is by foot, oversand vehicle or boat. The Refuge is a favorite destination of surf fishermen.
Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge- Formerly part of Fort Devens, Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge lies within the towns of Ayer and Shirley in Middlesex County and the towns of Harvard and Lancaster in Worcester County. The refuge consists of approximately 1,667 acres of upland, southern New England flood-plain forest, and wetland communities along nearly 8 miles of the Nashua River corridor.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge- Located on a coastal barrier island, the refuge consists of a range of habitats including salt marsh, beach/dune, freshwater marsh/pool, and grassland.
Silvio O. Conte Nat'l Fish & Wildlife Refuge- The refuge was established to protect the fish and wildlife resources of the 4-state Connecticut River watershed. The refuge will protect the diversity of species by acquisition and cooperative management.

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General Information

Description - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeast Region encompasses 13 states from Maine to Virginia. There are 132 facilities that are open to visitors and can provide exciting opportunities for wildlife dependent education, recreation and interpretation. Part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Service conserves, protects, and enhances fish and wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations. Service biologists contribute to the health of our environment — and consequently our quality of life — by protecting and restoring important habitat, safeguarding endangered species, minimizing environmental contamination, and restoring fish populations. In addition, the Service provides funds to support state fish and wildlife programs and enforces federal laws protecting wildlife. The headquarters for the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in Hadley, Massachusetts.

Attractions - The acreage for the NWRS as of 9/30/07 was 96,420,884 acres. The system encompasses 548 national wildlife refuges, 37 Wetland Management Districts (which include Waterfowl Production Areas in 205 counties), and 49 Coordination Areas which are managed by the states.

Recreation - Wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities, including wildlife observation, photography, interpretation, hiking, boating and environmental education, are permitted in designated areas.

Climate - Massachusetts experiences four distinct seasons with slightly varying temperatures in the inland and coastal regions. Along the coast the water is a moderating factor that often prevents large amounts of snowfall from accumulating through the winter. Summer temperatures are usually cooler than low lying inland areas, due to ocean breezes. This region of the country experiences high humidity in the summer season and temperatures that average close to 80 degrees F. Fall and Spring are pleasant times to visit the region with crisp air and low humidity. Brilliant foliage colors can be found in the central and western regions of the state in late September and October. Winter temperatures can be brutally cold on occasion with a humidity-filled wind, but on average winter daytime temperatures reach 35 degrees F and lows reach into the teens. Spring is usually the wettest time of year, but trees, bushes and flowers are blooming by early May.

Location - Massachusetts has wildlife refuges across the state. The regional office is located in Hadley, Massachusetts.

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Additional Information:
Massachusetts - Massachusetts is a great place to experience New England charm. The state contains diverse landscapes that include mountains, beaches and bogs, surrounded by architecture dating from 1700 to the present.


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