Virginia Rettig, Refuge Manager

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

Virginia Rettig spoke about the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge where she serves as Refuge Manager. The refuge comprises more than 47,000 acres of wetlands in segments on Barnegat Bay from Brick at the north end to Smithville in the south — critical habitat for migratory birds and many other species. Two separate entities, the Brigatine and the Barnegat National Wildlife Refuges, were combined and renamed in 1984 for the environmentally active Moorestown mayor who later served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1970 to 1984. The southern portion is still identified on some maps as the Brigatine National Wildlife Refuge. Almost 6,700 acres there are also designated a National Wilderness Area, one of only two such designations in New Jersey (the other is the Great Swamp area south of Morristown). Despite its long history and environmental significance to the shore area, it’s unlikely that many residents are even aware of the refuge or its work. Rettig discussed her agency’s studies and management of the natural and man-made forces that affect the refuge and other wetlands. The Forsythe Refuge is administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior.

The Ocean County Mayors’ Association has been found tax exempt by the IRS. Donations are deductible. Documentation of this determination and related financial disclosure documents are available for public examination.

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