Important Announcement

Please read and share with friends & family!

Before the approaching storm with forecasted major winds in the region, it's vital to recognize the active role seashells play in our coastal ecosystem. Seashells aren't merely idle objects on beaches; they actively contribute to our delicate coastal ecosystem.
As the storm is expected to expose numerous seashells along the shores, we kindly request your cooperation in refraining from picking up and removing these shells for the following reasons:
• Habitat for Organisms: Seashells serve as vital homes and attachment surfaces for various marine organisms. Disrupting these shells may disturb the habitats of algae, sea grass, sponges, and microorganisms, impacting the overall biodiversity of our coastal environment.
• Bird Nests: Shells are essential materials for constructing nests for our avian residents. Picking up shells may limit the availability of these crucial nesting materials, affecting the breeding success of our bird species.
• Erosion Control: Shells contribute to the natural stabilization of sediments, helping to control shoreline erosion. Removing shells can compromise this protective barrier, potentially leading to increased erosion and loss of coastal land.
• Calcium Source: Seashells contain calcium carbonate, which is gradually released into the environment, supporting the growth of marine organisms. Leaving shells in their natural state ensures a sustainable source of calcium for the ecosystem.
• Aesthetic and Recreational Value: The aesthetic appeal of our beaches, with their natural abundance of seashells, contributes to the overall enjoyment of visitors. By leaving shells untouched, we help maintain the beauty of our coastal landscape for everyone to appreciate.We would like to remind all visitors that the removal of anything from the Refuge, including seashells, is not permitted and is in violation of Refuge regulations. We encourage alternative ways to capture and cherish the beauty of our environment, such as taking photographs, creating sketches, or jotting down notes about the unique shells and marine life you encounter.

Your cooperation is crucial in conserving the Two Mile Beach Unit. Thank you for being responsible stewards of our coastal refuge, Cape May National Wildlife Refuge.

We Continue to Need Your Help!

Piping Plovers at the Refuge

According to the NJ DEP Fish and Wildlife, 118 pairs of piping plovers nested in NJ in 2022, a 14% decrease compared to 137 pairs in 2021.
The beach will be closed April 1st through September 30th to protect our nesting shorebirds, including the endangered Piping Plover.  The Friends of Cape May National Wildlife Refuge thanks everyone who contributes to protecting endangered species by staying off the closed beach during the migration and nesting season and to those who walk their dogs in off-Refuge dog friendly locations.

  • 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, 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

Read Our Newsletter!

March 2024 FCMNWR Newsletter


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. 


Please support the Refuge and Become a Member to help support our mission!

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


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.


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.



Please check out this great article and how you can help by planting certain Flowers they love....

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.
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

  • Beach Buggies

  • Beach Buggies

  • Beach Buggies

  • Beach Buggies

  • Beach Buggies