Purpose of RWR

Purpose of Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge

The original purpose of RWR was to provide a sanctuary/preserve for wildlife and fisheries and there has been little deviation since then to this original vision. The refuge also serves as a research site for marsh management strategies (i.e., limiting saline encroachment, reversing marsh deterioration, and providing productive wildlife habitat), while also serving as a research site for wildlife/fisheries research by RWR staff and other governmental/academic agencies. RWR staff provides professional expertise for the implementation of international, federal, and state legislation and regulations governing wise use of alligators, coastal wetlands, and other important wildlife/fisheries resources. Further, management expertise and guidance is provided by RWR staff to local landowners of marshland. Lastly, RWR serves as a recreational outlet for local residents, as well as a destination for regional tourists.

Based upon the original deed of donation, the primary goal of the RWR is to provide a refuge and preserve for all wildlife and fisheries species. When possible, multiple use marsh management should be considered in order to provide habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and estuarine organisms (i.e., fish, shrimp, and crabs). Additional considerations should be given to establish and maintain the historical flora/fauna of RWR. RWR should also contribute the maintenance of the Mermentau River Basin hydrology.

The deed also states that the refuge should study and improve wildlife foods, as well as study/remove the enemies to valuable wildlife species. Research activity on RWR addresses pertinent biological questions related to marsh management, wildlife, or fisheries resources. Research findings should also be disseminated (in publications or presentations) to local, state, national, and international audiences. Since 1955, RWR staff has contributed over 500 professional publications, reports, and professional conference abstracts to a wide range of audiences.

The goal of public outreach with local landowners and/or state, federal, and international groups on legislation/regulation is to encourage best conservation/management practices for fish and wildlife species, as well as their habitats.

The goal of recreation is to provide a destination for recreational activities, primarily through the abundance of the fisheries resource (i.e., fishing, shrimping, crabbing; permitted by subsequent Deed Memorandum of Agreements) and the diversity of watchable wildlife (i.e., birdwatchers).

The goal of education is to actively engage in educational programs with local, regional, and statewide groups. This includes providing educational programs to local school groups, as well as continuing to host 4H Marsh Maneuvers at RWR.