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J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

April 2, 2012 by staff 

J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is home to a wide variety of rare birds and wildlife.  The refuge plans to hold one last open house to preview potential changes that will be made in order to deal with the park’s increasing tourist traffic.

To reduce traffic, Deputy Refuge Manager Joyce Palmer says the city and Lee County began a study five years ago.   “We’re hoping that this project will help us address those issues but still provide protection for fish and wildlife resources,” she says.

They’ve narrowed solutions down to three. One of the solutions includes building a new trail to connect bikers and walkers to the Tarpon Bay recreation area.

Another is to turn an old water facility across the street into a parking lot.

And the third solution is to run a shuttle from that lot to sites inside the refuge.

The refuge will hold a public meeting at the Sanibel Community House on Thursday for the public to share ideas and get feedback.

“I think that’s great for input as long as it doesn’t take away from the decision that would be best for the environment,” says visitor Sara Gray.

Visitor’s say that unique environment is what brings them to the refuge.

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