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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


Draft Environmental Assessment for the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Demonstration Project

The Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) was prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate the potential for impacts that could result from the proposed Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Demonstration Project. The Draft EA will be available for a 30-day public review period from April 24 until May 23, 2015. The proposed Sea-level Rise Adaptation Project would be located on the Bair parcel of the Lanphere Dunes Unit, Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The proposed Action includes the removal of up to 4 acres of invasive, non-native European beachgrass and iceplant from the foredune of the Bair parcel, followed by revegetation with native species. Beachgrass would be removed with shovels to detach rhizomes while the top of the plant is pulled to either be burned in piles or taken to an off-site composting area. Iceplant would be removed by hand-pulling to remove rhizomes prior to being bagged and transported to a composting facility. Resprouts would be pulled weekly/every other week for one or more growing seasons. Following initial beachgrass and iceplant removal but prior to the next rainy season, native dune mat plants (cuttings, root divisions and seeds) would be planted in six of eight experimental areas to compare changes in dune morphology and sediment dynamics (deposition, deflation) with that of the two experimental areas where no removal would initially occur. The project may be phased over a period of years depending on funding availability. View the Draft EA/IS via the link below. Printed copies will be available at the Richard J. Guadagno Headquarters & Visitor Center, 1020 Ranch Road, Loleta, California, and at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center (Friends of the Dunes), 220 Stamps Lane, Manila California. Questions or comments regarding the Draft IS/EA may be submitted via U.S. Mail to: Eric Nelson, Refuge Manager, Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 576, Loleta, California. E-mail to: Comments must be received no later than May 23, 2015.

View the Draft EA

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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  • Birds Love Humboldt!

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    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
  • 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: Apr 24, 2015


  • 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
  • Friday Night at the Refuge

    April 03, 2015 - October 02, 2015

    The first Friday of each month, April - October, the Salmon Creek Unit will be open 8am - 8pm

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