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  Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge

Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1938 as a haven for great white herons, migratory birds, and other wildlife. The refuge is located in the lower Florida Keys and consists of almost 200,000 acres of open water and islands that are north of the primary Keys from Marathon to Key West. The islands account for approximately 7,600 acres and are primarily mangroves with some of the larger islands containing pine rockland and tropical hardwood hammock habitats. This vast wilderness area, known locally as the *??backcountry,*?* provides critical nesting, feeding, and resting areas for more than 250 species of birds.

Great White Heron NWR is accessible only by boat. However, the refuge is administered as part of the National Key Deer Refuge headquartered on Big Pine Key, which is 100- miles south of Miami. The visitor center is located **-mile north of the traffic light on Key Deer Boulevard in the Big Pine Key Shopping Plaza.

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