West Sister Island is a beautiful sight to behold on a luau-themed sunset cruise around western Lake Erie, and the Friends of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge will provide that chance on Friday, Aug. 23. Tickets for the special cruise aboard the Jet Express are $60, and available at the OWNR Nature Store in Oak Harbor.
West Sister Island National Wildlife Refuge is a rookery, a place where local wading birds like herons and egrets come to nest. Located nine miles off shore, the island is covered with tall hackberry trees and an unforgiving understory of poison ivy.
The area is closed to all but permit-holding researchers. On the cruise, everyone will learn about the island rookery from researchers and biologists that conduct surveys on the island. It is a fantastic way to learn more about federal lands, avian research, and local history.
The cruise will launch from the Jet Express dock in downtown Port Clinto at 6:45 p.m. and return to port at 9 p.m. Heavy hors-d’oeuvres are included in the ticket price, and a cash bar is available. The menu will have a Hawaiian theme, including chicken or pork sliders, fruit and dessert. Guests are also encouraged to participate in a 50/50 raffle on board.
Tickets can also be purchased online at friendsofottawanwr.org; or by calling 419-898-0014 Ext. 13. Proceeds from this event will be used to support Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge with conservation and restoration efforts.