Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


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    Calling All 4th graders!

    Starting this year, every 4th grader across the country is eligible to receive a free Park pass!

    Learn More!

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    Ethical Wildlife Viewing

    Remember while visiting your refuge to view and photograph wildlife in a safe and ethical way.

    Ethical Wildlife Viewing

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    Visit Us

    Want to stay up to date on the happenings at the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges? Visit us at our Facebook Page

    Like us on Facebook

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    Do you love taking photographs?

    Join our refuge photography club. We meet 2nd Wednesday of the month, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm (Nov-Jun)

    Visit our Photo Club Facebook page


Current Conditions

Nature Center Porch

The Great White Heron Refuge Nature Center located at 30587 Overseas Hwy is open with porch only access until further notice. Hours are Wed.-Fri. 10 am-3 pm. Great White Heron NWR is open as usual, seven days a week.

Great White Heron NWR Regulations

Key West and Great White Heron regulations

Backcountry Info-The Key West National Wildlife Refuge and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge regulations are available at the following link. Please also feel free to contact us via email at

Click here for restrictions

Florida Keys Wildlife Society

florida keys wildlife society logo

Florida Keys Wildlife Society (FKWS), is the official Friends group for the Florida Keys NWR's including Great White Heron NWR. FKWS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports nature conservation, wildlife protection, education and outreach, and volunteerism at the refuge. By supporting our Friends group either through membership, volunteerism, or donations, you help the Key deer, birds, butterflies and other wildlife and help the four Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges accomplish their mission.

Florida Keys Wildlife Society

eBird Trail Tracker


Find out what birds are being seen at the refuge, including the most recent sightings.

eBird Tracker

Great White Heron


The largest heron species, the majestic great white heron is unique to south Florida and the Florida Keys.

Learn More

About the Complex

Florida Keys Wildlife Refuges Complex

Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Florida Keys Wildlife Refuges Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS