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About the Refuge

Deer and egrets on the refuge - Ron Holmes/USFWS.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum was established in 1972 for the purpose of preserving, restoring, and developing the natural area known as Tinicum Marsh, to promote environmental education, and to afford visitors an opportunity to study wildlife in its natural habitat.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is a green respite nestled within the urban setting of the city of Philadelphia. Refuge lands are a thriving sanctuary teeming with a rich diversity of fish, wildlife, and plants native to the Delaware Estuary. Healthy and productive expanses of freshwater tidal marsh, open waters, mudflats, and forests support the hundreds of species that breed, rear their young, rest during migration, and call the refuge home year-round.

With partners’ support, the refuge leads by example in the restoration and conservation of freshwater tidal marsh within the Delaware Estuary. Also, given its accessibility and visibility to over 35 million Americans living within a 2-hour drive, the refuge serves as a prominent ambassador of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Its high-quality programs promote natural and cultural resource stewardship, demonstrate the conservation of urban wildlife habitat, encourage compatible outdoor public use, and serve as a living classroom to connect people with nature and local history. Those who visit John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge are inspired to take action to improve the quality of life for themselves and those around them.

Download the refuge brochure (pdf)

Page Photo Credits — Deer and egrets on the refuge - Ron Holmes/USFWS.
Last Updated: Jul 01, 2013
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