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Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Pacific Region

Common Murres - Photo by Roy Lowe USFWS

Oregon Islands | Cape Meares | Three Arch Rocks | Nestucca Bay | Siletz Bay | Bandon Marsh

Welcome to the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Home Page!

With its remarkable vistas and superb recreational opportunities, the Oregon coast attracts millions of visitors each year. Not all are aware of the National Wildlife Refuges that span 320 miles of the rugged coastline. The Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex comprises six National Wildlife Refuges protecting a variety of coastal habitats.

Stretching from Tillamook Head south to the California border, three of the refuges are marine and three are estuarine.The marine refuges (Oregon Islands, Cape Meares, Three Arch Rocks) protect coastal rocks, reefs, islands and several headland areas. These habitats support some of the most important seabird nesting colonies in the United States. Over a million seabirds, including common murres, tufted puffins, cormorants, and storm-petrels nest here. Coastal rocks provide breeding and haul-out sites for harbor seals and Steller and California sea lions. These pinnipeds create quite a spectacle during the spring breeding season when hundreds haul their massive blubbery bodies onto the safety of the rocks to mate.

The three estuarine refuges (Nestucca Bay, Siletz Bay, Bandon Marsh) preserve a very different, but equally valuable, habitat. These habitats include saltmarsh, brackish marsh, riparian wetlands and wooded uplands. They offer sanctuary to a diverse array of fish and wildlife including waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, small mammals, amphibians and anadromous fish.

To find some of the best places to observe wildlife on the Oregon Coast, view our Wildlife Watching Map (443 KB).

America's National Wildlife Refuges... where wildlife comes first!