The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) Tuesday will be accepting donations to support their residents and future visitors at their new facility in Holley. The donation drive is part of #GivingTuesday, a global fundraising movement for nonprofits that follows the Thanksgiving shopping weekend.
ECWR is a rescues, rehabilitates and releases more than 1,200 sick, injured or orphaned native small mammals, birds, turtles and tortoises each year from throughout the Panhandle. Examples include a hawk hit by a car, a pelican caught in fishing line and baby birds abandoned by their mother. The center also does water rescues for marine animals such as sea turtles. The goal is to return the animals to the wild.
ECWR has been renting a location for several years on Okaloosa Island, but they are building a permanent home in Holley along State Road 87. That is going to be an expensive venture for the non-profit, so they have been seeking donations from the public.
For #GivingTuesday the refuge is seeking to build:
- A new Flight Cage for native birds to relearn flight after recovering from illness or injuries prior to release. Some of the many birds treated and released include Pelicans, Ospreys, Woodpeckers, Cranes, and many more birds. This will cost $10,000.
- A new habitat for Dobby the hairless opossum. Dobby is a nonreleaseable opossum that currently lives in a small metal habitat indoors. The new habitat will be outdoors with protection from other wildlife and the elements. This will cost $4,000.
- A Visitor Outreach and Education Center at our new location in Navarre that will allow visitors, interns and staff to learn about, train up on and explore wildlife rehabilitation efforts. The refuge’s current facility does not allow for educational opportunities with the public due to space constraints. This facility will cost roughly $260,000.