Scenic USA - Florida

Merritt Island Refuge Recovery

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Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - Florida

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Consisting of 140,000 acres, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - Blackpoint Drive the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1963, enclosing the north end of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center. Here the refuge provides a variety of habitats, consisting of coastal dunes, saltwater marshes, freshwater impoundments, pine flatwoods and hardwood hammocks. Providing habitats for more than 1500 species of plants and animals, the refuge now celebrates its 50th anniversary.
     Continuing a working relationship with Kennedy Space Center, refuge personnel provide habitat management and wildfire protection in the buffer zones around space flight facilities. A closer look at this early morning scene gives a good indication of recent history. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - Blackpoint Drive Under severe drought conditions, and during times of prescribed burns, fires blacken sections of the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. A few of the Florida's native trees survive, giving this unnatural appearance. Within days, new growth seems to effortlessly spring up from the charred forest floor, while a few lifeless tree trunks hang on, defying gravity. The new growth, hidden by a low lying fog, gives a promise of a new start to a well balanced habitat.

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