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.
Download a PDF map of Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (2.0 MB).
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.
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.
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
Hunting is allowed on Bandon Marsh NWR west of Highway 101 and north of Bandon
city limits. Hunters must comply with all state and federal regulations. The discharge of firearms is prohibited unless authorized. The current Oregon Game Bird Regulations are published by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The Federal Regulations may be found in Title 50, Code of Federal
Regulations, Part 20 (www.gpoaccess.gov). Please
view the hunt map (172 KB) showing the open and closed areas.
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
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 NWRs. Through this planning process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sought input from the public, interested agencies, Tribes, and organizations regarding their interests, concerns, and viewpoints about important Refuge management issues. The Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Bandon Marsh NWR is now available. For more information visit our CCP site.
In addition to addressing wildlife, habitat, and public use management issues within the existing Bandon Marsh Refuge, the Director of the USFWS granted approval in September 2011 to begin a detailed Land Protection Planning (LPP) study to investigate the possibility of expanding the approved refuge boundary of Bandon Marsh NWR to meet the needs of fish, wildlife, and public recreational use. In early November 2011, the public was invited to participate in the planning process. Preliminary draft alternatives detailing how the refuge would be managed during the next 15 years and introducing the LPP study area were developed as part of the Refuge's CCP process. However, in early February 2012, the USFWS made the decision to separate the CCP from the boundary expansion study. This schedule change allows the CCP to continue on pace and meet the Congressionally mandated due date while allowing more time for thorough analysis and study of the LPP range of alternatives. For more information and updates on Land Protection Planning at Bandon Marsh NWR, visit our LPP site.
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
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
South Coast Refuge Office
PO Box 99 / 83673 North Bank Lane
Bandon, OR 97411
Driving Directions to the South Coast Refuge Office