Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of Carl Berg

Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of Carl Berg

National Wildlife Refuge Week, observed Oct. 10-15, reminds us how nature enriches our lives. What better place to celebrate that connection with the natural world than at the Kaua‘i National Wildlife Refuge Complex?

The complex, consisting of Kīlauea Point, Hanalei, and Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuges, is celebrating the network of lands and waters that protect wildlife and their habitats.

National Wildlife Refuges have been a part of Hawai‘i’s natural heritage since the designation of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands in 1909. Refuges conserve wildlife and wild spaces, protect sensitive areas and species, aid against erosion and flooding, and purify air and water. They also enrich human lives and provide $2.4 billion into the national economy and support more than 35,000 jobs (Banking on Nature).

During National Wildlife Refuge Week, tours will be offered in Hanalei and Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuges, areas typically closed to the public.

At Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, in addition to regularly scheduled tours of the Daniel K. Inouye Kīlauea Point Lighthouse every Wednesday and Saturday, a block print demonstration by artist Caren Loebel-Fried, and hikes to Nihokū and Mōkōlea Point will also be offered.

The refuge will also host a fee-free day on Saturday, where a number of our partners will join them in sharing the conservation stories being written every day by dedicated staff who protect Kaua‘i’s native species.

More information and a full schedule of events can be found at www.fws.gov/kilaueapoint or by calling (808) 828-1413. Reservations for hikes started Oct. 4 by calling (808) 635-7190.

The Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge was established to preserve and enhance migratory bird nesting colonies; federally listed species; and native coastal strand, riparian, and aquatic biological diversity, as well as to support fish and wildlife-oriented recreation.

The refuge is home to some of the largest populations of nesting seabirds in the main Hawaiian Islands and the historic Daniel K. Inouye Kīlauea Point Lighthouse. In 1988, the refuge was expanded to include Nihokū and Mōkōlea Point.

Hanalei and Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuges were established to recover threatened and endangered wetland species. Learn more about the refuges by visiting www.fws.gov/kilaueapoint, www.fws.gov/hanalei and www.fws.gov/huleia. Friend them on Facebook.