Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge lies in the middle of Florida's Space Coast complex on Merritt Island, Florida. It is unique in that is represents a protected area of Florida marshes and wetlands in the midst of an important economic and industrial feature of the Central Florida landscape.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1963 as an integral part of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center for the protection of migratory birds. The refuge consists of 140,000 acres of a wide variety of habitats: coastal dunes, saltwater marshes, freshwater impoundments, scrub, pine flatwoods, and hardwood hammocks that provide habitat for more than 1,500 species of plants and animals and 15 federally listed species. In my time at the refuge in 2017, I photographed hundreds of birds and visited the refuge several times a week during the migration season. It was a beautiful sight and a rich environment for my interest in the variety of wildlife refuges in the US.