T-37: Protecting Wildlife at Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida shares its boundaries with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Within its approximately 140,000 acres, space facilities and technology co-exist with more than 1,500 species of plants and wildlife, including more than 61 federal- and state-listed endangered and threatened animal and plant species. Kennedy is responsible for more protected species than any other federal property in the continental United States.

An American bald eagle soars from its perch in a tree at Kennedy. Several eagles call the center home. Photo credit: NASA/Bill White

Top priorities focus on monitoring ecosystem dynamics and sharing this vital information with regional stakeholders. For example, the team tracks habitat quality and populations of native species such as the Florida scrub-jay, West Indian manatee, bald eagle and many more.

An adult manatee (left) nuzzles its baby (right) in the water at the mouth of Banana Creek on Kennedy Space Center. Manatees live in Florida’s warm-water rivers and inland springs. Photo credit: NASA
A breeze ruffles the blue feathers of a Florida scrub-jay at Kennedy. Photo credit: NASA/Dan Casper

NASA logo with the blue circle replaced with Earth

The top objective is to assure NASA’s mission in space while monitoring and minimizing impacts to its local ecosystem. It’s an obligation the spaceport takes seriously: here, every day is Earth Day.