Us > US Fish & Wildlife Service/Rachel
Carson National Wildlife Refuge
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge was established
to preserve ten important estuaries that are key
points along migration routes of waterfowl and
other migratory birds. During harsh winters, the
refuge's marshes provide vital food and cover
for waterfowl and other migrating birds at a time
when inland waters are frozen. The refuge also
supports piping plover, least terns, peregrine
falcons, bald eagles and other state and federally
protected species. Nesting success of plover and
terns has benefited through the increased habitat
protection. In addition to anadromous fish, many
commercially and recreationally important fin
and shellfish rely on these coastal wetlands as
critical nursery areas.
lands total approximately 4,700 acres in ten geographic
units from Kittery to Cape Elizabeth, Maine. In
1989, the refuge boundary expanded to include
salt marsh, freshwater wetlands and "critical
edge" uplands around each of the nine divisions.
In addition, the Biddeford Pool Division, the
tenth division of the refuge, was created. This
division serves as a key staging area in southern
Maine for a large number and diversity of shorebirds.
When it is completed, the refuge will be about
7,600 acres in size.
1984, a national estuarine research and education
reserve was established in the Town of Wells,
Maine. The reserve land is made up of portions
of the Upper and Lower Wells divisions of the
refuge. Together, the reserve and refuge function
to further the knowledge and understanding of
estuaries throughout the community. The goal is
to promote an increased stewardship and, ultimately,
a greater protection of the estuaries.
more information, visit http://rachelcarson.fws.gov/.