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Refuge provides update on status of facilities

By Staff | May 4, 2020

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel continues to evaluate the risk of its operations to visitors, staff and the local community.

On May 3, acting Refuge Manager Kevin Godsea reported that in keeping with recent state and city directives, as well as national guidelines, staff are developing a phased plan to reopen facilities as they meet staffing, distancing and personal protective equipment requirements.

– Wildlife Drive and its trails remain open and admission-free from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

– Bailey Tract trails remain open, although its Tarpon Bay Road parking lot is closed to vehicles.

– Visitor & Education Center remains closed until further notice.

– Tarpon Bay Explorers will open when best management practices are in place and approved by the refuge.

– Refuge offices will remain closed to the public until further notice. For more information, contact 239-472-1100 ext. 237 or Toni_Westland@fws.gov.

– “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge offices will remain closed until further notice. For more information, contact 239-472-1100 ext. 232 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

Refuge staff reminded those who continue to use Wildlife Drive and other trails to do so safely by keeping their distance from others. They also remind visitors that Wildlife Drive is a one-way road, and bicycle traffic needs to abide by the one-way rules.