Block Island Beach Getaways
Block Island National Wildlife Refuge comprises 66 acres of some of the most beautiful dune habitat on the Atlantic Coast. Simply by virtue of its location on the flyway, the refuge is an important resting stop, providing cover for large numbers of neotropical migrants and raptors. Additionally, the intertidal shoreline supports a significant roosting area for migratory shorebirds including the black-bellied and semi-palmated plover, sanderling and dunlin during both the spring and autumn migrations. In 1996, the threatened piping plover attempted to nest on refuge beaches for the first time in over a decade. Also, the refuge supports a gull colony of 1,000 pairs and a colonial wading bird rookery consisting of 30 black crowned night heron nests.
Of special note is the cooperative venture between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy. It was recognized in 1993 that the two organizations working with local government would be able to more effectively protect and manage the increasingly valuable acreage owned by the three entities on the north end of the island. This has played an especially important role in the protection of the environment, as the refuge is an unmanned satellite managed by the mainland staff of Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge.
Each year, the refuge hosts various school groups and researchers, as well as providing over 10,000 Island vacationers that pass through the refuge on the way to the famous North Light lighthouse an opportunity to view some breathtaking seascapes and undeveloped shoreline.