The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) proudly celebrates the 50th anniversary of its renaming in honor of the world-renowned marine biologist, author, environmentalist as well as former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, Rachel Carson.
The refuge is going to be kicking off a year-long celebration to mark the formal dedication of the renaming, which happened on June 27, 1970.
Throughout the 50th anniversary celebration, the refuge is going to be highlighting lots of possibilities to explore its wealth of wildlife, habitat and natural resources, along with Rachel Carson’s legacy.
“It’s hugely motivating to work at a refuge named after one of our nation’s premiere environmental leaders,” said Refuge Manager Karl Stromayer. “Every day here at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is a journey of discovery into southern coastal Maine’s great biodiversity and natural beauty. The counties that the refuge occupies have half a million people and are also rich with partnerships as well as exciting opportunities to connect individuals to nature.”
The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1966 as the Coastal Maine National Wildlife Refuge, is made up of 11 divisions, which span 50 miles of coastline in York as well as Cumberland counties, from Kittery to Cape Elizabeth — including Scarborough. Currently at 5,690 acres, the refuge will contain approximately 14,683 acres of numerous wildlife habitats when land acquisition is complete. The proximity of this refuge to the coast, as well as its location between the eastern deciduous forest and also the boreal forest creates a composition of plants and animals not found anywhere else in Maine.
Along with benefiting wildlife and protecting natural resources, the Rachel Carson NWR offers a number of ways for the public to experience as well as appreciate its protected public lands, including 3 main nature trails and lots of wildlife observation stations featuring each habitat type found on the refuge, hunting and fishing opportunities, interpretive and educational programs, a visitor information center, many volunteering opportunities, along with other recreational activities.
The 50th anniversary celebration will include virtual and also remote events, such as for example Facebook Live programming, educational series, contests and self-guided scavenger hunts along the Carson Trail. While safety is our primary concern during the epidemic, the refuge will assess events with the ability to safely host, such as for instance interpretive programs, tide pooling events, Bio-Blitzes and volunteering opportunities. For the time being, keep an eye out for more information and fun activities on the refuge’s Facebook page and along the trails as well as wildlife monitoring stations.
In her writings, Rachel Carson displayed a distinctive ability to simultaneously engage her own sense of wonder in adition to that of her readers through eloquent prose and investigation of natural phenomena and biological processes. Her work facilitated in connecting individuals to nature and inspire environmental stewardship — a feat the refuge continually aspires to emulate and expand upon.
Although the mystery of the sea as well as its creatures captivated Carson at an very early age, the Maine coast particularly inspired her. She always summered on South port Island, where she studied its beach and tide pools to research The Edge of the Sea (1955). Through tireless investigation for her greatest work, Silent Spring (1962), she linked the unrestrained utilization of post-World War II chemical pesticides with fearsome, biological consequences.
Conquering industry and government pressure to abandon her research, Carson alerted generations to utilize chemicals with utmost caution, warning that their improper use would have devastating effects on public health and the environment. As fitting recognition of Carson’s contributions to conservation after her death in 1964, the refuge was renamed in her honor.
During the current COVID-19 virus pandemic we urge people to follow CDC guidelines to make sure their health and safety together with health and safety of others. These include maintaining adequate social distancing, avoid overcrowding, and exercising good hygiene. When visiting Rachel Carson NWR, take note the following current conditions and plan accordingly:
The Visitor Center at 321 Port Road in Wells, Maine, is closed.
The Carson Trail, adjacent visitor parking area, and restrooms are open.
Trails at Cutts Island and Timber Point are open. If parking lots are full when you visit, do not stop.
Restrooms at Cutts Island Trail are closed until further notice.