The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Chilean and Colombian Delegation Visits Reserve and Refuge

Posted by | May 30, 2014

South American delegates participating in a New England study tour, out on the Little River marsh, May 2014A delegation of directors and managers of protected areas in Chile and Colombia visited the Wells Reserve and Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge on May 25 to gather insights into programs and activities at refuges and research reserves. The nine Chileans and Colombians were from national parks, forests, and sanctuaries.

Staff from the Wells Reserve, Rachel Carson Refuge, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Gulf of Maine Coastal Program led the delegation on a tour of the reserve and the refuge. Delegates learned about research in areas such as climate change impacts on estuarine and coastal ecosystems, salt marsh response to sea level rise, endangered shorebird management and protection, early successional habitat management activities benefiting a range of wildlife species, river restoration, and tracking fish movement between fresh and salt water. They viewed fish being caught and tagged at the newly restored fish ladder on Branch Brook and viewed a 2,000-year-old salt marsh peat sample in the Reserve’s research laboratory.

In addition to research and resource management activities, the Chileans and Colombians learned about the differences in the missions of a National Wildlife Refuge (whose major emphasis is on wildlife and habitat protection) and a National Estuarine Research Reserve (whose major emphasis is on using protected land as a platform for science and education). They also learned how our two entities collaborate on projects and programs.

South American delegates participating in a New England study tour, out on the Little River marsh, May 2014The Study Tour, as it is called, was organized by the U.S. Department of State, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of the Interior. The tour’s goals are to promote cooperation between protected areas in New England and the South American countries, to share knowledge, and to address questions and priority management issues. In addition to the Wells Reserve and Rachel Carson Refuge, the delegation visited other research centers, as well as national marine sanctuaries, parks, seashores, and historic sites in New England.

The group hosting the Chileans, Colombians, and representatives of three federal agencies included Ward Feurt and Sue Adamowicz from the refuge, Jed Wright from the USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program, and five members of the reserve staff: Kristin Wilson, Sue Bickford, Tin Smith, Jake Aman, and myself.

To help bridge the English/Spanish language gap, expert translation was provided by Elsa M. Alvear, Chief of Resource Management at Biscayne National Park in Florida.

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