U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

National Wildlife Refuge

Dunlin are softball-sized shorebirds that spend the winter feeding on the rich mudflats within Willapa National Wildlife Refuge/Photo courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach
3888 State Route 101
Ilwaco, WA   98624
E-mail: willapa@fws.gov
Phone Number: 360-484-3482
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Dunlin rest on the mudflats of Willapa Bay/Photo courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach
Gray horizontal line
Continued . . .

In 1788, explorer John Meares named the point at the tip of the Long Beach Peninsula "Low Point." In 1852, its name was changed to Leadbetter Point in honor of Lt. Danville Leadbetter of the U.S. Coastal survey.

Diamond point, located on the northern tip of Long Island, once harbored the small population of Diamond City, founded in 1867. Diamond City, originally called I'oneville, was named for the many discarded oyster shells which were thought to shimmer in the sun like diamonds.

Logging on Long Island began in the early 1900s by independent loggers who skidded logs down sloughs and into the bay; logs secured in "rafts" were floated to mills on the shores of Willapa bay as well as milled on the island. A floating logging camp which housed 13 workers was constructed and situated on the slough near the Sawlog Campground.

Willapa Refuge was established in 1937 by President Franklin Roosevelt to protect migrating and wintering populations of brant, waterfowl, shorebirds, and other migratory birds and their habitats. The refuge was established at a time when many estuaries were rapidly being destroyed by the effects of diking, draining, dredging, sedimentation, and pollution.

Lands within and surrounding Willapa Bay that once supported industries like grazing, logging, and fishing have gradually been added to the refuge. These lands now preserve a rich heritage of wildlife for environmental conservation and wildlife-dependent recreation.

- Back -