Description - The Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge on the south shore of Long Island is one of the last undeveloped estuary systems remaining on Long Island. Approximately half of the refuge consists of aquatic habitats including bay with marine seagrass beds, intertidal saltmarsh, high saltmarsh, freshwater marsh, shrub swamp, and red maple swamp. The refuge's saltmarshes, combined with the adjacent New York State-owned saltmarsh, form the largest continuous saltmarsh on Long Island. The remaining half of the refuge is upland featuring the rare Pine Barren habitats of pitch pine, oak-pine, mixed oak, pioneer hardwood, upland shrub, and grasslands.
- The refuge's wildlife populations are quite diverse. About 300 species of birds have been documented at Wertheim. The refuge winters up to 5,000 waterfowl, the majority being black ducks - a species in nationwide decline. The coastal location also makes this refuge an excellent migration corridor for shorebirds, raptors and songbirds. The main purpose for establishing the refuge was to protect the Carmans River Estuary for migratory birds. The River is a NY State-designated Wild and Scenic river and one of the Island's largest. The refuge supports eight Federal and/or New York State protected species.
Recreation - Recreational Activities include
Historic & Cultural Sites,
Climate - New York experiences four distinct seasons, with spring and fall being the most pleasant times to travel through the region. Humidity in the southeastern areas of the state can make summer travel uncomfortable, although many festivals and special events occur during that season. Summer highs in the lower elevations of New York usually don't surpass 90 degrees F. Thunderstorms occur a few times a week and can bring needed relief from the heat.
Long Island Expwy. (I-495), Exit 68S, or Sunrise Hwy. (Rte.27), Exit 58S, to the William Floyd Pkwy. (CR46S). From the junction of William Floyd parkway and Montauk Highway (Rte. 27A/CR80) proceed west on Montauk (CR 80W) for approximately one mile, turn south onto Smith Road. Go 1/4 mile to the refuge entrance on the right.