San Diego NWR Complex
Pacific Southwest Region
Pelican in flight
Seal Beach NWR

Established in 1972, Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect and preserve the habitat necessary for the perpetuation of the endangered California least tern and light-footed clapper rail, and to provide quality habitat for migrant waterfowl, shorebirds and other water birds. The refuge is located within the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station in Orange County, CA and encompasses 965 acres of remnant saltwater marsh in the Anaheim Bay estuary.

Like the other coastal units of the Complex, Seal Beach NWR serves as a critical migration stopover and wintering habitat for thousands of birds who migrate up and down the Pacific Flyway each year. The refuge also serves as an island of habitat for a wide variety of fish, wildlife, and plants, from bald and golden eagles, to grey smooth-hound sharks, round stingrays, and green sea turtles, to monarch and painted lady butterflies and microscopic aquatic invertebrates. It protects a small but essential piece of what once was the typical landscape in this area.  Thanks to strong partnerships with the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station and the Friends of Seal Beach NWR there have been many wildlife management and habitat restoration successes stories on the refuge.

- Because the refuge is located within an active military weapons station, public access is limited to monthly guided tours held on the last Saturday of each month (excluding December):

Seal Beach guided tours info flyer

Volunteer work days - Held on the 1st Wednesday of each month from 8am - 12pm. Activities include upland habitat restoration, trash pick-up, and work in the native plant nursery. Registration required by the Monday before the event - call 562-598-1024 and leave names and phone number of all participants. Meet at the main gate parking lot (800 Seal Beach Blvd.) at 8am on the day of the event. Please bring photo ID. Long pants and sturdy shoes recommended.

Special Events - Seal Beach NWR hosts events such as native plant restoration days, so be sure to check back here for updated information on them. In order to participate in these events, volunteers must sign up ahead of time before the event day to ensure entry into the Refuge and Naval Base. Please call the number below. Click here for information on the 2012 National Public Lands Day!

Volunteer Forms - To volunteer at Seal Beach NWR you need to fill out a Volunteer Services Agreement Form. If you are under 18, please make sure to have a parent fill out the appropriate section on this volunteer form.

Please call the Seal Beach Visitor Center at
(562) 598-1024
for more information.

Click on a photo below to view a large image
Seal Beach Nature Center
Seal Beach Nature Center
Seal Beach Volunteers
Seal Beach Volunteers
Belding's Savannah Sparrow
Belding's savannah sparrow

Where wildlife comes naturally!

Last updated: September 10, 2012