Fish and Wildlife Service, Rhode Island.
Located within the picturesque Narrow River on the Southern Coast of Rhode Island, this Refuge is comparatively small in size, but big in protecting the unique features of this area. At 317 acres, the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for the largest black duck population in Rhode Island, and is recognized under international agreements as a critically important area for this species. The scenic vistas offered by the refuge and surrounding areas is well noted and attracts people from throughout the region. Originally named the Pettaquamscutt Cove National Wildlife Refuge in 1988, it was renamed the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge in 1999, in honor of the late Senator who was a leading conservationist in the nation, and a strong supporter of the Refuges in Rhode Island. This unique National Wildlife Refuge is administered as part of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex which manages all five of the National Wildlife Refuges in Rhode Island, headquartered in Charlestown, Rhode Island. The new Kettle Pond Visitor Center and headquarters located in Charlestown, RI, which opened in October 2005, celebrates the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge and all of the other refuges in Rhode Island. This facility contains interactive exhibits, displays, a sales area, classrooms for special events, and knowledgeable people where visitors can come and explore the refuges and learn about the wildlife resources and coastal environments of each refuge. The refuge contains expansive saltmarsh habitats and adjacent uplands which teem with a variety of wildlife including great egrets, herons, and several species of plovers and other shorebirds.
The refuge is located in the Towns of Narragansett and South Kingstown, Washington County, Rhode Island. Virtually all refuge lands are not readily accessible by road. Taking a canoe or kayak across Pettaquamscutt Cove and in the Lower Narrow River is the easiest way to experience the refuge. The kayak launch area at Sprague Bridge off of Boston Neck Road/Rt. 1A in Narragansett (along with a few other shoreline access points) is open to the public every day from sunrise until sunset. There are no other developed visitor use areas on the refuge. The kayak launch area is not accessible by wheelchair or stroller. Exceptional viewing of the refuge can be had from the Sprague Bridge in Narragansett on Boston Neck Road, or on Middlebridge in Narragansett.