In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in coordination with the Governor and local public health authorities, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is re-opening the Visitor Center at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Cambridge on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm.
The refuge is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and is using a phased approach to safely increase access to Blackwater NWR lands and facilities as rapidly as possible. The Wildlife Drive, trails, and hunts have been open throughout the pandemic.
Beginning October 3, 2020, Blackwater NWR will reopen public access to the Visitor Center on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm. In addition, Wildlife Drive and all trails continue to be open and available. Those entering the Visitor Center will be asked to follow Governor Hogan’s COVID guidelines, which include facial coverings indoors, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and staying home if sick.
As we continue to review access, services, and programs, a return to full operations at Blackwater NWR will be phased in according to protocols set by governors and local public health officials. These decisions will be informed by the most current guidance and information from the Department of the Interior, CDC, Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of Health to ensure the health and safety of those visiting and working at Blackwater NWR are protected. We will continue to closely monitor conditions and adjust our operations accordingly.
We continue to urge our visitors to do their part when visiting Blackwater NWR and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.
Updates about the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s response to coronavirus are posted at https://www.fws.gov/home/public-health-update.html.
Please check our website for current updates and status: www.fws.gov/refuge/blackwater.