Amanda Meyer, refuge manager at Palmyra NWR, took a moment to share her experience and inspiration during a break from writing a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP).
I just came back from taking a little break from [writing] the CCP. I stepped outside and the sun was reflecting off of the lagoon, no clouds, a beautiful sunny day, so I decided to take a moment to observe some wildlife and recharge my batteries. I took out the paddle board and headed toward Strawn point. It is a very hot day and the sooties were taking off in groups to drink from the lagoon. Some were very graceful as they only dipped their beaks into the water to take a drink. Some were cooling off by dragging their feet, or splashing their chests into the surface of the lagoon before returning to their chicks.
At Strawn point I came across a large school of bonefish, over 100 in all, with several of the largest bonefish I have ever seen. They were just milling around and undisturbed by my presence. Parting as I came by and then filling in the gap to surround me in a flashing silver circle.
On my way back to the dock I came across a train of juvenile manta rays feeding at the surface and a large school of milkfish feeding in the water column just below the young mantas.
While I was paddling the inhabitants of the refuge flew over head and swam beneath me, and were ever present, wonderful reminders of why I am here, and why we are writing the CCP.
Thank you for making the Palmyra team a great one!