Kate Watts monitors vegetation in the pine rockland ecosystem on Big Pine Key. Watts serves as Lead Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, overseeing biologists, technicians and interns at the refuges in the lower Keys.
“Although a scientist by trade, I find that it is extremely important to translate the technical parts of my job into concepts that the public can relate to,” she says. “By providing ways for people to connect with nature, science and the outdoors, I feel like the Refuges have the ability to offer limitless valuable learning opportunities for the country.”
The Florida Keys Refuges offer so many learning experiences to those that slow down and open up their eyes to explore,” she says.
The Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex is comprised of four refuges situated in the Florida Keys. Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located at the northern end of the Florida Keys near Key Largo, Florida. The Lower Florida Keys Refuges are physically separated from Crocodile Lake NWR. This group of three refuges, National Key Deer Refuge, Key West National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), is situated between the city of Marathon and the Marquesas Keys, which are located west of Key West, Florida. The refuge complex is managed as a whole with administrative headquarters at National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, Florida.
FAVOR Florida Keys – Friends And Volunteers Of Refuges – The Refuges’ Friends Group is a non profit organization whose mission is to support the National Wildlife Refuges of the Florida Keys through education, non adversarial advocacy, volunteerism and fundraising.
FAVOR Florida Keys
Friends And Volunteers Of Refuges
The Refuges’ Friends Group-
179 Key Deer Blvd ,
PO Box 431840
Big Pine Key Florida United States 33043.
Visit www.favorfloridakeys.org/ for more information and to register for the many events offered—some, like Kate’s events, have limited availability. Brought to you in part by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.