Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge New Visitor Facility
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received $9.775 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for a headquarters/visitor center building at the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge (LINWR) complex. C&S designed and provided construction management services for the new energy-efficient facility at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge. The LINWR complex will be a hub for all eight refuges located on Long Island.
The 17,000-square-foot building includes a visitor center and office space for employees, other service programs, and agency partners. The center will is anticipated to receive LEED Gold Certification.
The facility sits on a sandy hillside above sensitive tidal and freshwater wetland habitats and sensitive archeological resources. The ultimate destination for drainage from the site is the adjacent wetland area, and then the Carmans River, which drains directly to the Great South Bay. 90 percent of annual rainfall is treated with best management practices before it leaves the site, removing 85 percent of total suspended solids. Flow from the new loop road and parking areas is directed toward storm water bioretention basins that slow runoff velocities and clean the water. Various types of permeable pavement sidewalks around the site also reduce and treat runoff.
The planting palette is made up exclusively of Suffolk County natives, improving wildlife habitat. 2.4 miles of improved trails and boardwalks with interpretive signage, benches, observation platforms and an osprey nesting platform were carefully situated and detailed to minimize disturbance to the sensitive site.