News and Activities

Evaluating Contaminants at Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge

Date Posted: February 5, 2002

Service staff recently completed an assessment of known potential contaminant threats to Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge was established on December 24, 1980, as an endangered species refuge. The salt marsh, tidal channels, mudflats, sand beaches, and dunes provide habitat for several federally-listed endangered and threatened species including the light_footed clapper rail, California least tern, brown pelican, salt marsh bird's beak (plant) and the western snowy plover. These areas also provide habitat for the State_listed endangered Belding's savannah sparrow and many species of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. The riparian woodlands provide habitat for the federally-listed endangered least Bell's vireo and southwestern willow flycatcher as well as for many species of migratory birds. The refuge is located in an extremely urbanized area (San Diego County with a population of more than three million people) in The City of Imperial Beach, California, a few miles north of the Mexican border. Contaminants undoubtedly have impacted the refuge habitat over the past several decades and, unfortunately, contaminants continue to degrade this vitally important remnant habitat. The information collected during the assessment will enable the Refuge and Contaminants staff to begin addressing contaminant threats. This investigation is an excellent example of how important the Contaminants Program is to other Service Programs, specifically Refuges and Endangered Species. As the quantity of wildlife habitat continues to decrease, it becomes increasingly important that the remaining habitat be high quality, free from contaminant impacts.

Scott Sobiech, 760-431-9440

Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge

US Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Program

Last updated: June 12, 2015