CAMBRIDGE — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the Compatibility Determination for cooperative agriculture on Eastern Neck and Blackwater National Wildlife Refuges is available for public comment.

Prior to allowing a new, or continuing an existing activity on a refuge, the Service must determine if the use is compatible with the establishment purpose of the refuge. The draft Compatibility Determination reevaluating cooperative farming on these two refuges is now open for public comment.

Blackwater and Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuges have been working with cooperating farmers to plant crops as supplemental food for wintering waterfowl for many years. This has proven to be a highly effective way to meet the energetic needs of ducks, geese and swans wintering on and around these refuges. There have been no significant changes to the cooperative farming program since previous compatibility determinations were completed.

The compatibility determination is available for viewing on the refuge website at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Blackwater/. Comments should be submitted in writing to the attention of Mr. Matt Whitbeck, Wildlife Biologist, at Chesapeake Marshlands NWRC, 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD 21613; or matt_whitbeck@fws.gov. Comments will be accepted until Friday, Aug. 28.

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