Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Inc

A nonprofit organization

$1,555 raised

Established in 1994, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge was officially incorporated as a not-for-profit 501c3 tax exempt organization. The Refuge is funded through private contributions, memberships, fundraising events, business partners and grants to support our mission. 

We provide wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and environmental outreach to five counties in Northwest Florida from Pensacola in the west through much of Bay County in the east, encompassing a population of 921,850. Thousands of animals a year are rescued working closely with local law enforcement, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect, treat and release native species. Patients include over 70 species such as bobcats, bald eagles, deer, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, gopher tortoises, shore birds, songbirds and osprey. We are also the lead response team for the Federal Marine Mammal Stranding Network, assisting with all marine mammal strandings from mid-Walton County to the Alabama state line. This year our marine mammal stranding team has responded to 20 bottlenose dolphins in distress and assisted NOAA’s law enforcement team in the investigations of two dolphins intentionally killed in Okaloosa County waters.  Our team assisted Florida Fish and Wildlife with the rescue of a female manatee and her young calf in Perry, FL when they were stranded in shallow water after hurricane Matthew. After medical assessments performed by ECWR veterinarian Dr. Macy Trosclair, both were deemed healthy and were released in suitable waters.

Another focus of our organization is education, in 2016 conducting 75 educational events with over 5000 students from 20+ schools in three counties, ranging in age from 2 to post-graduate college interns.  Volunteer docents assist with education at many of the events which include festivals, nursing homes, day care and schools. We also conduct a summer camp called Summerwild for children ages 6 – 11. 

Regular operating costs are approximately $300,000 a year to provide care to our wildlife patients.  Refuge staff is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing an invaluable service to one of the most biologically diverse areas of North America.  Volunteers perform a multitude of activities which provide much needed assistance fostering baby squirrels, opossums and raccoons until they are old enough to be released, preparing daily diets, cleaning enclosures, doing laundry, picking up injured or orphaned wildlife, assisting with fund raisers, helping with summer camp, picking up donations and the ultimate reward…. releasing the healthy, rehabilitated animal back to the wild. 

All of this explains our need for donations (actually on an ongoing basis). Each year the number of patients increases, along with expenses.  Please donate today. Your help is needed. Various donation levels will allow you to support something near and dear to you.  Do you love baby squirrels?  Donate to support the care needed to raise two or more injured or orphaned youngsters.  Does it break your heart to see a Bald Eagle with a broken wing?  They require long and expensive treatment to heal well enough to fly again and be released.  A few months ago, a box turtle was brought to the refuge with its shell injured as several children were seen jumping on the turtle.  Its shell, broken in several places, was set, mended appropriately and he was released back to the wild.  Of course spring brings all kinds of songbird chicks.  Donate towards supplying mealworms, crickets and birdseed for these hungry babies. Local raptors are also frequent patients…. great horned owls, barred owls, Eastern screech owls, ospreys, and a variety of hawks.  The raptors eat a more specialized diet of mice, rats and fish which comes frozen from distributers that guarantee quality, healthy meat. Sponsor the construction of an owl enclosure or habitats for other animal ambassadors on our new property in Navarre.

Any level of contribution would be greatly appreciated and is completely tax deductible.  We wholeheartedly thank you and of course all of our native wildlife will appreciate the help we can give them thanks to your generosity.


Organization Data


Organization name

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Inc

Tax id (EIN)



Education Environment Animals




(850) 650-1880

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