Avian Attraction: Wildlife Drive in Oceanville Reopens After Repairs from Superstorm Sandy
Wildlife Drive, part of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville, has fully reopened after months of repairs, and visitors are welcome to enjoy panoramic views of coastal wetlands and the avian inhabitants that live and stop over there.
Following Superstorm Sandy in 2012, temporary repairs were made to the refuge, but according to Refuge Manager Virginia Rettig, after some more investigation there was some concern about long-term damage to the Wildlife Drive system. Since September intermittent and full closures took place during the reconstruction.
Wildlife Drive is an 8-mile, one-way, unpaved loop through wetlands and woodlands in Atlantic County. It is also home to the headquarters of the Edwin B. Forsythe Refuge, a refuge that has more than 47,000 acres of protected coastal habitats in southern New Jersey, including land in Barnegat, Little Egg Harbor and the southernmost 3 miles of Long Beach Island in Holgate.
The entrance fee to Wildlife Drive is being waived until April 1 and a grand reopening celebration is being planned in the coming months.
These photos were taken on a rainy Sunday afternoon and show some of the winter season inhabitants of the wetlands section of the drive, including brant, northern pintail ducks and hundreds of snow geese. —R.D.M.