Check out some fantastic images taken by local photographers, Ron LeValley, Andrea Pickart & David F. Thomson
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 and Lanphere Dunes
Experience a diverse and dynamic coastal landscape of forests and salt marshes, sand dunes and beaches.
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
Humboldt Bay freshwater wetlands attract hundreds of species of migratory and resident birds.
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
About the 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
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
The Youth Conservation Corps is a summer employment program for young men and women, ages 15 through 18, who work and learn together by accomplishing needed conservation work on public lands. The eight week program will begin on June 22, 2015 and conclude on August 14, 2015. Participants will be selected by random drawing and will earn $9.00 per hour. All participants must bring a lunch and be able to provide their own transportation to and from the refuge. Work schedules will begin at 8:00AM and conclude at 4:30PM each day, Monday through Friday.
The type of work to be performed includes: invasive plant control, wildlife habitat maintenance, basic construction, facilities maintenance and environmental education. Forty hours of natural resource conservation education programs will be incorporated into the scheduled eight weeks. These programs will provide information on the natural resources and responsibilities of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Migratory Birds descend upon Humboldt Bay year round as they migrate from chilly northern breeding grounds to warmer wintering areas. These birds use the productive Refuge habitats ranging from freshwater wetlands to sandy forested dunes. Learn More About Humboldt's Migrant Birds
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
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
The leafcutter bee (Megachile wheeleri) is one of the of specialized, solitary, ground-nesting bees that are crucial to the survival of our native dune mat community. The leafcutter bee, shown here pollinating dune goldenrod, cuts semi-circular pieces from goldenrod leaves and uses them to construct its nest cell. Native bees are gaining increased attention as pollinators due to the decline of the imported honey bee (Apis mellifera) through colony collapse disorder. Photo courtesy of Andrea Pickart.
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: May 27, 2015
Friday Night at the RefugeJune 05, 2015 - June 05, 2015
Join photographer Stephen Remington for "Forty-five Years at Mono Lake"
7pm - 8pm presentationLearn More
Annual Grass Grab Volunteer WorkdayJune 06, 2015 - June 06, 2015
Help restore native coastal dune habitat by removing invasive, non-native annual grasses. RSVP Required 733-5406Details