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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.


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 ( 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 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 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 was made in order to allow 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.

In August 2013, the USFWS made the decision to suspend the boundary expansion study due to limited funding and resources. Consequently, a draft land protection plan will not be released for public comment at this time. The Service maintains its interest in the study, and will resume the land protection planning study in the future as additional resources become available. For more information and updates on Land Protection Planning at Bandon Marsh NWR, visit our LPP 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
Phone: 541-867-4550. Email:
Site last updated April 30, 2014