In response to guidance from the Ohio Department of Health, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is announcing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
At Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, the following services and operations will be suspended until further notice in order to comply with the Ohio state health guidance:
• Visitor center operations remain closed
• Refuge boardwalk is closed
• Partnership hiking trails that connect Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge to state lands are closed
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working servicewide with federal, state and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service release. The public will be notified when operations resume. Look for updates at fws.gov/refuge/ottawa.
Outdoor spaces at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state and local health guidance, including more than 12 miles of hiking trails. If contemplating a visit to a national wildlife refuge during this pandemic, visitors should adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, visitors are urged to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safer and healthier.
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is located in Northwest Ohio on the shore of Lake Erie. The refuge was established in 1961 to provide habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds, resident wildlife and endangered and threatened species. Much of the refuge and the surrounding lands were once part of the Great Black Swamp. The 1,500 square mile Great Black Swamp was a vast network of forests, wetlands and grasslands. The refuge team manages more than 10,000 acres of wetland, grassland and wooded habitat.
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