IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Dear Friends....

Cape May National Wildlife Refuge is under limited staffing and operations due to COVID-19.   

Facilities are currently not available. Organized programs, walks and all other events are canceled.  

Trails and lands remain open. Your safety is our number one priority.  

Please practice social distancing, personal hygiene, and other behaviors to avoid infection in public areas.  

For more information visit: https://www.fws.gov/home/public-health-update.html 

Thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to seeing you all in good health when this public health crisis is over.
- The Board Members of the Friends of Cape May National Wildlife Refuge 

  • Thank you to our Refuge Friend and Member Kathy Quattrone for this extraordinary photo & description of Osprey mother and chick:

    “Only-chick (front) and his momma in their nest...my, how he has grown. He shows his young age with his white-tipped feathers and slightly deeper eye color, but he is almost her size now. He will perfect his fishing skills during August before they migrate south in September.” -Kathy Quattrone

Cape May National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of three units....

The Great Cedar  Swamp Division is at the northern end of the refuge in Dennis and Upper Townships.  Habitats such as salt marsh, hardwood swamp, bog, grasslands and large tracts of forested uplands are used by wildlife such as blue-winged warblers, ovenbirds, and short-eared owls. The refuge connects with a state forest and the Pineland National Reserve. 

Where in New Jersey is the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge?

The Cape May National Wildlife Refuge is located within the Cape May peninsula, the southernmost point in the state of New Jersey.  Because of its unique geography, the peninsula offers stunning views of sunrise to the east over the water of the Atlantic Ocean, and of sunset to the west over the water of the Delaware Bay.  The Refuge currently protects over 11,000 acres of peninsula habitat in its 3 refuge units: the Great Cedar Swamp Division, the Delaware Bay Division and the Two-Mile Beach Unit. These 3 units represent unique, diverse habitats: forested hardwood swamp, river estuary and ocean barrier island.   VIEW MAP

OUR MISSION

Friends of Cape May National Wildlife Refuge 
is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is:


• To promote awareness of the Cape May Refuge and surrounding natural areas

• To foster public understanding, appreciation and support of the Cape May Refuge and National Wildlife Refuge System

• To advocate for the conservation and protection of wildlife, plants & their habitats in our community for the benefit of current and future generations.

SNOWY VISITORS AT TWO MILE BEACH

If you see one of our majestic snowy visitors, please remember to maintain a respectful distance of at least 50 feet- The Friends of Cape May NWR have loaner binoculars and a spotting scope available for use at the Nature Store at Two Mile Beach.

Restoration Project Complete!

Marsh Restoration project at Cape May NWR complete!

Despite the challenges we've all faced this year, the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge has been diligently working on a marsh restoration project.  This project first began in 2014 after receiving funding from the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Program and was completed this year!  Please see the press release below and the attached Fact Sheet for details on the project.  The employees at Cape May National Wildlife Refuge hope you are safe and encourage you to visit refuge lands to enjoy the outdoors! https://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ref=cape-may-national-wildlife-refuge-marsh-restoration-project-protects-&_ID=36798

HONEYBEES?

IT'S OUR NATIVE BEES THAT NEED THE BUZZ

Please check out this great article and how you can help by planting certain Flowers they love.... https://choosenatives.org/articles/native-bees-need-buzz/

Native Birds - Plant Wisely

Native Birds - Plant Wisely

Native birds, insects and wildlife cannot and will not eat non-native plants.
For the sake of our birds and wildlife, please choose ‘native plants’ for your gardens.
https://plants.usda.gov/java/
And DO NOT use pesticides or herbicides on your grassy areas!
For more information, check out the eye opening findings and writings of University of Delaware entomologist, Douglas Tallamy.

What To Do If You Find Baby Wildlife

What To Do If You Find Baby Wildlife

Spring is here, and with it comes baby wildlife season. As the warm season progresses, the chance of encountering young animals from baby birds to lone deer fawns to baby squirrels in our backyards and neighborhoods increases.

What should you do–and not do–if you find a baby animal in your yard or neighborhood? Read on to find out.

Watch out for the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive species....

It is slowly and surely making its way through the eastern region! Invasive species compete with (often out competing) the more sensitive native plants and wildlife. The Spotted Lanternfly will bore into the bark of trees and eat the phloem; which transports nutrients through the tree, eventually killing it. For more information on identifying and how to get rid of the pest please see the information below or visit https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/spottedlanternfly.html

The NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY of NJ is presenting Wonderful Wednesdays Webinars

The NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY of NJ is presenting Wonderful Wednesdays Webinars

Wednesday, November 18, 7:00-8:00 PMNative Plants for 21st Century Gardens: Ending Invasive Exotic Landscape Clutter with 
Carolyn Summers
Flying Trillium Gardens and Preserve  
Carolyn Summers will discuss native plants, many of which are under-utilized in the landscape industry, that make excellent substitutes for over-used invasive exotics. Emphasis will be on species that work well in common garden settings, including foundation plantings, hedges, and rain gardens 

Bio:
Carolyn Summers is the author of "Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East". Most recently, her photographs grace the pages of a new book, "The Pollinator Victory Garden", by friend and colleague Kim Eierman.

After completing her BSLA (Landscape Architecture) degree at CCNY, she began an atypical career with the Trust for Public Land, producing an open space report for the Harbor Herons Project that has guided preservation efforts to create an urban wildlife refuge on Staten Island. Ms. Summers continued environmental work with New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection as the agency’s first Director of Natural Resources, including implementation of a new native plants policy for all agency construction/restoration projects. Following her work with New York City, she came to the Natural Resources Defense Council, initiating a regional project to preserve and restore wildlife habitat and public access in the New York-New Jersey Bight. 

Ms. Summers is currently an adjunct professor for Go Native U, a joint project of Westchester Community College’s Continuing Ed Program and The Native Plant Center (based at Westchester Community College). 

She and her husband have recently opened their country home, Flying Trillium Gardens and Preserve (
www.flyingtrillium.com), for public tours so that designers, gardeners and homeowners will be inspired by the beauty of native plants in both garden and natural settings to create more of the same.  

REGISTRATION is REQUIRED
PLEASE NOTE: -- Remember to join early. Registration is required but does not guarantee entry into the webinar if maximum capacity has been reached.

Click Here to REGISTER


Questions - email: President@NPSNJ.org

Tidal Marsh Restoration Area

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Cape May National Wildlife Refuge....

manages property along the Delaware Bay including the Reeds Beach parcel. Reeds Beach includes a roughly 100-acre tidal marsh restoration area threatened by the effects of sea level rise, severe storms, and human intervention creating a stressed environment; which has led to marsh loss and conversion to open water, affecting the plant and wildlife in the area.

As part of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Cape May NWR mission, the refuge began taking action in2014 when it was awarded Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Program funding to reduce the growing risks from threats such as coastal storms, flooding, and erosion. Through this program funding, the USFWS and a contractor studied and designed a restoration plan for the 100 acre Reeds Beach parcel.

It was concluded that to best way to restore the ecosystem was to alleviate excess water from sitting on the surface of the marsh. Less water sitting on the marsh would allow the plants to become healthier which would allow the plant roots to hold and trap more sediment allowing the marsh to grow and keep up with sea level rise.

The restoration at Reeds Beach began in 2017 when10,000 feet of runnels were created over 48 acres. Runnels are shallow excavations created in a sinuous way to mimic natural creeks and streams. The runnels were created to connect low lying areas to existing creeks using a ditcher mounted on an amphibious tracked vehicle called a Marsh Master that has extremely low ground pressure. The ditcher cuts into the soil and thinly spreads the removed soil over the marsh.

In the fall of 2019, Cape May NWR launched the next phase of the Reeds Beach marsh restoration, by creating more runnels in the remaining 52 acres in-house with a smaller USFWS Marsh Master. As the marsh soil is very soft and muddy, it is easy for one’s foot to sink 2-3 feet into the muck; leading to difficulty for the Marsh Master. Over 1,000 feet of runnels were created, though the smaller machine was not adequate for the weight of the ditcher, so the Cape May NWR staff went back to the drawing board.

In the fall of 2020, Cape May NWR was able to dig the remaining 9,931 feet of runnels with the original larger Marsh Master, completing the construction phase in the Reeds Beach marsh . This final phase would not have been possible if not for funding that was provided by Ducks Unlimited, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and the Friends of Cape May NWR. In previous years, the Friends of Cape May NWR financially supported refuge interns. This financial support was used as a matching source in order to obtain a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant.

Cape May NWR believes that this habitat restoration will improve vegetation health and provide enhanced habitat for wildlife including American black duck, saltmarsh sparrow, diamondback terrapin, and many fish and shellfish. The Reeds Beach marsh unit will be monitored through the coming years to measure the success of the restoration project by looking at vegetation changes, marsh elevation changes, water level changes, and species abundance just to name a few. To date, low lying flooded formerly non-vegetated areas adjacent to runnels have begun to vegetate once again. This project is a great education opportunity for saltmarsh health, how marshes buffer the coast and communities from storms, sea level rise and marsh restoration work.