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Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge




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Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Public Domain:  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Copyright: - US Fish and Wildlife Service
Public Domain: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Description - The refuge is 147,368 acres of Everglades habitat. It is part of a water storage area built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leases 143,116 acres in Water Conservation Area 1 and 1,595 acres in the Strazzula Marsh from the state. The Service owns 2,550 acres fee title. To the west of the refuge is the Everglades Agricultural Area, which includes large sugar cane plantations, winter vegetable and sod farms, and cattle ranches. East of the refuge lies a conglomerate of urban areas. To the south and southwest of the refuge lie the only other remaining portions of Everglades.

The refuge is all that remains of the northern Everglades. A 400-acre cypress swamp is located in the headquarters area. Everglades habitats of wet prairies, sloughs, sawgrass marshes, and tree islands comprises approximately 85 percent of the refuge. It is a key wintering and migration area for many species of birds. The refuge provides habitat and protection to 30 plant and animal species listed as endangered and / or threatened by federal and state agencies.

The three major sources of water are rainfall (58%), the S-5A pump station at Twenty-Mile Bend (32%), and the S-6 pump station at the southwest side of the refuge (10%). Approximately 75 percent of the water pumped onto the refuge is from agricultural lands. Water levels are managed following a schedule derived through a cooperative agreement between state and federal agencies. The schedule is designed for these objectives: (1) water storage capacity during the hurricane season; (2) store water for irrigation during the fall, winter, and early spring; (3) prevent saltwater intrusion into the Biscayne aquifer by storing water for release into coastal canal systems during the fall, winter, and spring; (4) maintain refuge habitat types by flooding wetlands during the summer and fall; and (5) enhance feeding areas for waterfowl and wading birds by lowering water levels in the spring to concentrate food in sloughs and shallow ponds during nesting season.

Attractions - Located in southeastern Florida, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is comprised primarily of wet prairies, sloughs, sawgrass marshes and tree islands. A 400-acre cypress swamp is located in the headquarters area. The refuge is home to a number of migrating bird species including the wood stork, consequently, bird-watching is a favorite recreation. The refuge is also home to the endangered (snail) kite.

Recreation - A Visitor Center introduces tourists to the important water management role the refuge plays in the surrounding areas. Recreational opportunities range from bird-watching to hunting and hiking. Airboating, paddling and fishing are permitted as well.

Climate - Southern Florida lies within a subtropical climate. It is usually hot and humid in the summer with brief afternoon thundershowers. It is not unusual for temperatures to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit with averages reaching above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging above 64 degrees Fahrenheit (above 18 Celsius). The average precipitation for the southeast area is more than 60 inches per year. The powerful rays of the sun make it a good idea to wear hats and sunglasses along with using a SPF-15 (or above) sunscreen when planning outdoor activities.

Location - The refuge is located in Palm Beach County west of U.S. Highway 441 west of Delray Beach and Boyton Beach.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR, 10216 Lee Road , Boynton Beach, FL, 33437-4796, Phone: 561-732-3684
, r4rw_fl.lxh@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Florida National Wildlife Refuges - The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife manage 21 wildlife refuges in Florida that reach nearly all corners of the state. The refuges protect and manage biological diverse habitat while offering an educational and recreational opportunity to the public.
Southeast Florida - Southeast Florida features unmatched natural, historical and cultural attractions. Dominating nearly 1.5 million acres, Everglades National Park is the forebear to the area's public lands.

Links:
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR - Official agency website

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