By Denise Clay

Since 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has celebrated the contributions and achievements of nationally recognized Recovery Champions–staff and partners recognized nationally for their dedication to the conservation of threatened and endangered species.

This year, the North Atlantic-Appalachian Region is pleased to celebrate its very own Dr. Sadie Stevens for her work to improve coordination between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offices and strengthen relationships with state agencies receiving funding under the Cooperative Endangered Species Grant Programs.

three people smile from a river bank
three people smile from a river bank
Dr. Stevens with biologists visiting a New Hampshire project site. USFWS

As a fish and wildlife biologist with the regional Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR), Stevens helps grantees navigate the federal…


Fishing, fresh air, and a fun time spent in nature is something everyone can get behind! This season, rediscover your true nature by fishing at a national wildlife refuge or national fish hatchery near you.

To help you plan ahead, we’ve listed a few of our favorite accessible fishing spots and boat ramps, with resources for many more!

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Basom, NY

The new accessible floating dock is now open at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. At this popular fishing location, the refuge hosts two special events every year — the Youth Fishing Derby and the Veteran Family Fishing Day. Ringneck Marsh is open to fishing year round, including ice fishing, per state regulations.

A second overlook, Mallard Overlook, has a view of Ringneck Marsh from the east. Both overlooks are good wildlife observation…


Seabeach amaranth is a threatened species found along the Atlantic coast with unique survival mechanisms.

a green plant with broad leaves grows low in the land
a green plant with broad leaves grows low in the land
Seabeach amaranth. Dale Suiter/ USFWS

Seabeach amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus) is a native plant species found along Atlantic Coast barrier beaches, from South Carolina to Massachusetts. Decline in the northern part of its range caused by coastal development, sea level rise, increased recreation, and beach stabilization structures led to the plant being protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1993.

Dubbed a ‘fugitive plant’ due to its dispersal mechanisms, seabeach amaranth spreads its seeds at the whim of the winds and tides. …


Your weird and wonderful Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Woolly mammoths and deep sea corals don’t appear to have much in common, but they have both called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument home. For woolly mammoths living over 12,000 years ago, the seamounts in the Monument were just ‘mounts’ rising up around river gorges that today we call deep sea canyons.

Map showing the location of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument
Map showing the location of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is a protected area located about 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Four extinct underwater volcanoes — the seamounts — rise up to 7,700 feet above the ocean floor, making them taller than any mountain east…


By Wendi Weber, North Atlantic-Appalachian Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In times of crisis, our actions need to be informed by our past and guided by our vision for the future. When life-altering circumstances like the pandemic and climate change test our resilience, we must follow the science and choose adaptable solutions.

June is National Ocean Month, when we highlight the invaluable contributions the global ocean makes to our economy, environment, and wildlife resources. It’s also a time to reflect on the challenges our coastal communities are facing, including higher sea levels and more-frequent intense storms.


By Denise Clay/USFWS

Beach with dune grass and ocean in background
Beach with dune grass and ocean in background
Coastal habitats provide resting and rearing sites for shore birds. USFWS

When most of us are getting ready for the beach, we think of sunscreen, towels, and snacks. But when a biologist thinks about beach season, they think about how to help protect beach birds. That’s because while we flock to the beaches to swim, sunbathe, and tackle our must-read list, birds go to the beach to survive.

“In the spring, red knots and other migratory birds stop at beaches and other coastal habitats to rest and fuel up during their long journeys,” said Wendy Walsh, an endangered species biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. …


The Finger Lakes Land Trust assembles a landscape of conservation throughout the region

An aerial view of McIlroy Preserve on Fall Creek. Credit: Bill Hecht

What does it take to protect natural landscapes, and why do we need to protect them? I asked Max Heitner, the director of conservation for the Finger Lakes Land Trust these questions.

Founded in 1989, the land trust is a nonprofit organization that protects more than 25,000 acres in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. They aim to conserve natural spaces and fill in the gaps between areas they already own, those protected as New York State Parks, and those managed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

“To conserve forever the lands and waters of the Finger…


A woman holds a group of plants while surrounded by plants
A woman holds a group of plants while surrounded by plants
As the botany intern, Shannon was responsible for a nursery with ~4000 native plants. Here, she can be seen in a sea of willows to be planted out for habitat restoration. Marlie Perkins/USFWS

When I told my grandmother that I would be moving to Maine, she said, “Well! You do know that there are Cajuns up there, don’t you?” I, in fact, did not know that there were Cajuns in Maine, but during my 6-month term as Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge’s botany intern, I did find many connections to my home of South Louisiana.


There are only a few days left to find the perfect gift for the mother figure in your life. Why not give a gift that gives back? This Mother’s Day, show your appreciation not only to your mother but to Mother Earth by gifting pollinator-friendly flowers that return year after year.

Pollinators are animals that carry pollen from one plant to another. They are extremely important for the health of our planet, and at least 75% of plants rely on pollinators for reproduction.

a tiny bird with a long bill on a branch.
a tiny bird with a long bill on a branch.


Woman in sunglasses and a Service pol talking with a group of students in hard hats and green uniform shirts outdoors
Woman in sunglasses and a Service pol talking with a group of students in hard hats and green uniform shirts outdoors
Marilyn and students find a northern water shrew nest one summer while cutting red maples out of the impoundments at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge.

There is a common misconception that biologists are not concerned with human connection. Marilyn Kitchell shatters this fallacy, believing that empowering others is one of our greatest conservation tools.

In a previous position at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey, Kitchell designed and led programming for the Groundwork-Wallkill Connection Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. Through this work, she established connections with members of the Groundwork Hudson Valley Green Team, a hired group of local students from public schools in Yonkers, NY. …

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast Region

Conserving wildlife and habitats from Maine to Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania.

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