About the Refuge

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Dungeness, one of the world’s longest sand spits, shelters a bay rich in marine life. Eelgrass beds attract brant, shorebirds feed on the tideflats, and ducks find sanctuary in the calm waters.

A Haven for Wildlife

Recognizing the importance of the fertile habitats, President Woodrow Wilson established the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge on January 20, 1915 as a refuge, preserve, and breeding ground for native birds.  Today the graceful arch of Dungeness Spit continues to protect nutrient-rich tideflats for migrating shorebirds in spring and fall; a quiet bay with calm waters for wintering waterfowl; an isolated beach for harbor seals and their pups; and abundant eelgrass beds for young salmon and steelhead nurseries.   

Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is open to the public year-round.  Hiking, wildlife viewing, and photography are popular activities on the Refuge.  Some portions are closed seasonally or permanently to protect sensitive species.  To ensure that wildlife continue to have a peaceful place to rest and feed, certain recreational activities such as swimming, jogging, and other beach activities are allowed only in selected areas during certain times of the year. Pets, bicycles, kite flying, frisbees, ball-playing, camping, and fires are not permitted on the Refuge as they are a disturbance for the many migrating birds and other wildlife taking solitude on the Refuge.