The Friends of Blackwater is a nonprofit citizens support group for Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Cambridge, Maryland. Together with our partners, we provide vital fundraising, volunteer, and advocacy support to help make Blackwater NWR one of the best refuges in America's National Wildlife Refuge System. Learn more about how you can join, donate, or volunteer with us.
Become a member of the Friends and receive discounts at local merchants and in our Eagle's Nest Book and Gift Shop.Membership Benefits
Donate in memory of a friend or loved one, help support the raptor cams, or donate to our Building Fund.Ways to support
Join one of the most active volunteer groups in the National Wildlife Refuge System.Opportunities at the Refuge
NEWS FROM THE FRIENDS
Friends' Anniversary Sale in September
The Friends are celebrating their 30th anniversary, and we want YOU to help us celebrate! For the entire month of September, the Eagle's Nest Book and Gift Shop, in the Blackwater NWR Visitor Center, will be offering a 10% discount on all merchandise, and members of the Friends will receive a 20% discount. Visit our Anniversary page for a look at our merchandise.
In April, Blackwater NWR recognized our wonderful volunteers at the annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner. Volunteers (192 volunteers to be exact!) donated 10,003 hours of their time to the Refuge in 2016, which is equivalent to nearly 5 full-time staff. Learn more about the awards on our Volunteer Awards page.
The Friends of Blackwater NWR recently awarded scholarships to three students who are pursuing careers in environment-related fields. Read more about the winners on our Scholarship page.
Free Bird Walks
Blackwater NWR offers free bird walks on select weekends throughout the year. Visit our Event Calendar to find dates for upcoming bird walks and come join our bird expert for an intimate look at our local bird life.
Share your images!
Do you have a great image from Blackwater NWR? Be sure to visit our online gallery of images and videos from Blackwater NWR. You can submit a photo or video for inclusion in our gallery or you can share your photos and videos with us on our Friends of Blackwater Facebook page. Show us what you've got!
What is a national wildlife refuge?
You might be surprised to learn that national wildlife refuges are different than national parks. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the only system of federal lands devoted specifically to wildlife. While national wildlife refuges provide recreational opportunities for people, they also provide habitat for more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species, and more than 1,000 species of fish. More than 380 threatened or endangered plants or animals are protected on wildlife refuges. Each year, millions of migrating birds use refuges as stepping stones while they fly thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes. Learn more about America's National Wildlife Refuge System at fws.gov/refuges.