Why You Should Visit the Merritt Island Refuge

Christopher Vargas, Staff Writer

In the realm of major tourist attractions, Florida is a hub with Disney World and Universal Studios. Florida is more than it seems, containing one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of these reserves. Located in Brevard County, FL its location is very significant to American history, as it is extremely close to the Kennedy Space Center. 

In an ironic twist, the Kennedy Space Center has saved this ecosystem. In its conception, NASA purchased 140,000 acres, a huge amount of land with most government protection. The reserve itself is the remainder of the land after NASA constructed its launchpad and rockets. Without NASA this ecosystem would be lost to the fast expansion of Florida. 

The refuge also practices methods to promote plant growth including controlled burns. Controlled burns allow newer plants to grow and certain species of birds to flourish. If controlled burn was not practiced, the plants would build up and eventually lead to an uncontrollable fire.

The refuge is home to over 1,500 species of plants and animals. There are many different trails that are accessible by car, making it easy for visitors to view different plants and animals.

The undisturbed landscape that can be seen from these trails is a beautiful sight.