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Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region

Shorebirds flocking at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge - Photo by David Ledig

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Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest remaining tidal salt marsh within the Coquille River estuary. Located near the mouth of the Coquille River, it is an oasis for migrating shorebirds, waterfowl, coho salmon, and threatened and endangered species including Bald Eagle and California Brown Pelican. The refuge encompasses 889 acres and is composed of two units: Bandon Marsh and Ni-les'tun. A salt marsh restoration project on the Ni-les'tun Unit was completed in September 2011.

Brown Pelicans at Bandon Marsh - Photo by David Ledig USFWS

Wildlife, Habitats and Visitor Opportunities

Bandon Marsh Unit
The expansive mudflats at the Bandon Marsh Unit are teeming with a motley assortment of clams, crabs, worms, and shrimp, which provide a nourishing meal for migrating shorebirds. The refuge is renowned for its excellent shorebird viewing opportunities. Birdwatchers visiting in the spring or fall can expect to see thousands of Western and Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Black-bellied Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Red Phalarope, Whimbrel, Dunlin and those rarities like Ruff.

Waterfowl, herons and falcons can also be viewed from the Bandon Marsh observation deck located on the west side of Riverside Drive. Other public use opportunities include environmental education, photography, and clamming. The viewing area includes an accessible elevated viewing platform, a small parking area, and stairs leading to the mudflats. The marsh and observation deck are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

The Oregon Shorebird Festival attracts birders from all around the nation - Photo by Dawn Grafe USFWS. Ni-les'tun Unit
This Unit was established to protect and restore intertidal marsh, freshwater marsh and riparian areas that are habitat for migratory birds and anadromous fish (e.g., salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout).

An overlook area is underlain by a historic Coquille (Ko-kwell) Indian campsite. The Coquille Indian Tribe and students of Southern Oregon University archeologically investigated the site and now the 4,500-year-old site is protected.

In September 2011, the Refuge completed marsh restoration for this unit. The influx of saltwater and freshwater will allow re-establishment of mudflats and marsh plants, and interconnecting tidal channels bisect the wildlife habitat south of the overlook deck. As the land returns to a rich functioning intertidal marsh, flocks of seasonally driven migratory birds and young fish will use the restored habitat.

The Peter DeFazio Marsh Overlook is provided to give visitors the opportunity to view wildlife and changes in the habitat as the area is restored to intertidal marsh.

Waterfowl Hunting

The Service has expanded opportunities to hunt waterfowl on Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge by opening an additional 299 acres. The latest expansion of the waterfowl hunting program occurs on refuge lands located east of U.S. Highway 101 known as the Ni-les'tun Unit. Waterfowl hunting will be allowed on recently restored tidal marsh. Hunters will be able to access the area by foot from North Bank Lane boat and by boat from the Coquille River east of the mouth of Fahys Creek. Waterfowl hunting will be permitted on the Ni-les’tun unit three days per week: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Hunters can access the unit 2 hours before sunrise and remain up to one hour after sunset.

The portion of the Bandon Marsh Refuge west of Highway 101 (Bandon Marsh Unit) and outside of Bandon city limits will continue to be open for waterfowl hunting seven days a week during all authorized waterfowl seasons, excluding the early Special September Canada goose season. Hunters will access lands west of Highway 101 by using the Refuge’s paved public parking lot located on the west side of Riverside Drive. They may also access the area by boat during higher tides from the Coquille River. Hunters should be aware that the southern 1/3 of this part of the Refuge is closed to hunting because it falls within the city limits of Bandon. The southern boundary of the public hunting area is posted with "Public Hunting Area" signs. Download the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Regulations and Map (3.0 MB).

State hunting license requirements apply for all waterfowl hunting on the Refuge. Download the 2014-15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information or call the South Coast Refuge Manager at (541) 347-1470.

Thumbnail of Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Regulations  Thumbnail of Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Map
Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Regulations and Map (3.0 MB PDF)

Coquille Point - Interpretive Trail

While in Bandon don't miss an additional visitor opportunity available at Coquille Point, a mainland unit of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This is an excellent place to explore the beach and observe wildlife, particularly seabirds and harbor seals. A paved trail winds over the headland and offers interpretive panels on wildife and Native American history.

Refuge Planning

The Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex has completed a planning process for the long-term management of wildlife, habitat, and public use activities on Bandon Marsh, Nestucca Bay, and Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuges. The Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Bandon Marsh Refuge is available. Download a map of our planned management direction (1.9 MB PDF). For more information visit our CCP site.


Bandon Marsh Unit: From US Highway 101 just north of Bandon, turn west onto Riverside Drive and park in the refuge parking lot on the west side of the road.

Ni-les'tun Unit: From US Highway 101 just north of Bandon take Fahy Creek Road east to North Bank Lane. The parking lot and observation deck are on the south side of North Bank Lane.

South Coast Refuge Office

PO Box 99 / 83673 North Bank Lane
Bandon, OR 97411
Phone 541-347-1470
Fax 541-347-9376

Driving Directions to the South Coast Refuge Office

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Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2127 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR, 97365
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Site last updated October 20, 2014