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    Photo Galleries

    Check out some fantastic images taken by local photographers, Ron LeValley, Andrea Pickart & David F. Thomson

    Refuge Galleries

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    Visitor Center

    The visitor center is a great place to stop and gather information before taking advantage of all of Humboldt Bay's visitor activities.

    Learn More About the Visitor Center

  • Ma-le'l Dunes.

    Ma-le'l and Lanphere Dunes

    Experience a diverse and dynamic coastal landscape of forests and salt marshes, sand dunes and beaches.

    Dunes Restoration

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    Humboldt Bay saltmarsh habitat has decreased by 90 percent. Fortunately, the Refuge is making it a priority to restore this unique habitat.

    Spartina Invasion and Management

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    Freshwater Wetlands

    Humboldt Bay freshwater wetlands attract hundreds of species of migratory and resident birds.

    Wetland Management


Humboldt Bay NWR prepares for Climate Change

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Climate change has put a new face on conservation. After decades of following established paradigms, conservationists are being forced to reexamine some of the basic tenets of our field. Like coastal locations around the country and world, the Humboldt Bay area is and will continue to be impacted by effects of climate change, especially sea level rise (SLR). Models and predictions vary geographically but for the state of California, the conservative SLR estimate is 6” by 2030, 12” by 2050, and 36” by 2100. The CA Coastal Commission requires projects to assess impacts from a minimum SLR of 3’ and a maximum of 6’ by 2100, the rest of the California Resource Agencies use 55” by 2100. But on Humboldt Bay the north Spit station record gives us a relative SLR of 18.6” per century, due to subsidence. Based on a recently completed vulnerability assessment a SLR of 2’ to 3’ will be a significant tipping point on Humboldt Bay.

Learn more about how climate change may affect the Humboldt area and how the Refuge is preparing for it.

About the Complex

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex

The coastal habitats conserved at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge are some of the most beautiful and biologically rich places in the world.

Humboldt Bay is managed as part of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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  • White Slough Restoration Project

    The California State Coastal Conservancy (Conservancy) is considering the adoption of a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the White Slough Restoration Project, which would restore tidal marsh habitat on diked former tidelands to enhance native wildlife habitat, protect existing transportation infrastructure and beneficially reuse sediment on the White Slough Unit of Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge near Fields Landing, CA. A hearing on the project is scheduled before the Conservancy Board of Directors on March 26, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in the Napa County Transportation Planning Association Board Room, 625 Burnell Street, Napa, CA, at which time any and all interested persons may appear and address the Board concerning adoption of a Mitigated Negative Declaration for this project.

    For more information
  • Restoring Humboldt's Natural Habitats

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    Restoring habitats to more natural conditions is a priority for Humboldt Bay NWR. Before European settlement, Salmon Creek meandered through brackish and saltmarsh wetlands before entering the south bay. In the early 1900's the creek was channelized and tidal influence was halted. This had serious impacts on the habitat and associated fish and wildlife communities. Beginning in the early 1990's the Refuge began restoring historic Salmon Creek conditions, completing the most recent stage of the project in 2012.

    Learn More about the Salmon Creek Restoration Project
  • Combating Invasive Spartina

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    Historically the Humboldt Bay area had approximately 9,000 acres of valuable saltmarsh habitat. Because of levee construction in the early 1900's, which inhibited saltwater intrusion into historic marshes, salt marshes began to disappear, and now only 900 acres remain. The remaining acres are now being invaded by a robust grass known as Spartina. If left untreated, Spartina can take over an entire saltmarsh, completely eradicating all native species and becoming a monoculture. Through restoration work, the Refuge is combating the Spartina invasion to protect Humboldt's remaining saltmarsh habitat.

    Learn How the Refuge is Controlling and Reversing Spartina Invasion
  • Humboldt Dune Restoration

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    The Refuge’s Lanphere Dunes Unit is home to the first dune restoration project on the west coast. Restoration began in the 1980s with early experiments to control invasive European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria). By the early 1990s The Nature Conservancy (the past owner) began a large-scale mechanical eradication project that took 6 years to complete. This project became a template for dune restoration projects throughout the west coast and beyond. Most importantly, it demonstrated that by removing over-stabilizing beachgrass and other invasive plants, essential dune processes were restored, fostering the recovery of the ecosystem. Since that time, dune restoration has continued to evolve and expand. On our local dunes, over 7 miles of coastline have been restored in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, and plans are in the works that will more than double this number.

    Click Here for More Details About Humboldt Dune Resoration
Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Feb 09, 2015


  • Sunrise at the Refuge

    March 01, 2015 - March 01, 2015

    a.k.a Aleutian Cackling Goose Fly-Off & Family Fun Day at the Visitor Center. Gate opens a at 6:00am

    Learn More
  • Free Guided Walks

    December 29, 2014 - December 31, 2015

    Meet at the Visitor Center, 1020 Ranch Road in Loleta,on the 1st Wednesday and 2nd Sunday of each month 9am to 11am

    Learn More
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