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Friends of St. Marks
Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 368
St. Marks, FL 32355

Phone: (850) 925-6121

Email for more information

Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge

The St. Marks Refuge Association (which was formed in 1987) supports the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in all aspects of its mission. In 2014, the association registered to 'do business as' Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. The Friends' group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

The Refuge comprises over 70,000 acres of wildlife habitat along 45 miles of Florida gulf coastline. To get to the Refuge, turn south on Lighthouse Road off of U.S. Hwy 98. If you are visiting the capitol city, the Refuge is approximately 35 miles south of Tallahassee.

Visit this site often to learn about announcements, upcoming events, news, membership, educational efforts, volunteering, support and more. (Note: if you have come to the "Friends" site when you intended to visit the "Refuge" web site, you can go there now.)

Closure Note
Hunting Notice

The outer levee of Stoney Bayou #2 has been closed until further announcement to limit disturbance to the wintering waterfowl using the southern portion of the pool.  Please respect the signs.

Also, it's now hunting season in varying parts of the Refuge, so if you plan to hike into more remote regions of the Refuge, please check at the Visitor Center be aware of areas to avoid.

watercolor of chicadee

Birds to Look For at the Refuge - January 13 Survey
Don Morrow, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge volunteer and expert birder, conducted a recent survey. In his notes, he said, "I logged 100 species at St. Marks NWR today. Predawn birds included Barred and Great-horned Owls, both King and Clapper Rail and Sora. I had 20 duck species including Black and Surf Scoter that I found while searching vainly for Cavanaugh’s White-winged Scoter." Read Don's complete survey.

illustration of vermillion flycatcher Noteable Bird Sighting
Several birders and photographers have seen the return, this year, of Vermillion Flycatchers at Double Dikes and other locations in the Refuge.

woman using walking stick

Nature Store
Visit the Friends' Nature Store, and you will see why the store is one of our great success stories. In addition to T-shirts, gift cards, jewelry, and burnished water bottles, we are now featuring walking sticks by Whistle Creek (left). Visit the Nature Store, and get more information about these useful hiking accompaniments. (All profits benefit various Refuge programs!)

Special Notes:

  • Construction is taking place at the lighthouse over the next several months. Until further notice, it will not be open on the usual "First Saturday" of each month.
  • Also, drones are not permitted to be launched on national wildlife refuges.  Please inform law enforcement if you see drones being used on your visit here. Thank you for your help.
Upcoming Events


Saturday, January 21 – St. Marks Photo Club  
Meets at 9:00 a.m. in Nature’s Classroom.  Open to all interested in nature photography.

Saturday, February 4 - WHO Festival
WHO! Wildlife Heritage and Outdoors Festival, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Learn all about the different recreational opportunities offered by St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

Sunday, February 5 - Behind the Gates Birding and Wildlife Tour
Matt and Cyndi Johnstone lead the event —9:00 a.m. to noon. Limit 25. Call 850-925-6121 to register.



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Copyright: St. Marks Refuge Association, 2013

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