About the Refuge

Shorebird Habitat

Gravel Island National Wildlife Refuge consists of Gravel Island (4 acres) and Spider Island (23 acres). The islands are located in Lake Michigan, near Washington Island, off the tip of Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula. They were set aside by Executive Order in 1913 as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds. Gravel Island National Wildlife Refuge and the nearby Hog Island (part of Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge) make up the Wisconsin Islands Wilderness Area. At twenty-nine acres, it’s one of the smallest wilderness areas in the country. Public use is not allowed due to ground nesting by migratory birds. 

Gravel Island National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of a complex that also includes Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, 22,000 acres near Waupun, WI; Fox River National Wildlife Refuge, 1,054 acres in Montello, WI; Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 1,620 acres; and Leopold Wetland Management District, 57 waterfowl production areas, totaling 13,000 acres, located in 17 counties throughout Wisconsin. A total of twenty-two staff work to manage wildlife, habitat, and recreational opportunities on these areas within the complex. 

Green Bay and Gravel Island NWRs Staff 

 Complex Project Leader     Bill_Peterson@fws.gov  920-387-2658 ext 111

 Deputy Project Leader       David_Bolin@fws.gov   920-387-2658 x120

Federal Wildlife Officer        Adrian_Potwin@fws.gov   Cell 920-948-2579 or 1-844-NWR-TIPS (1-844-697-8477)   


Office Directions: Horicon NWR Complex
The office/visitor center is located on the east side of Horicon Marsh, 3.5 miles south of State Highway 49 on County Road Z.

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge (Office/Visitor Center)
W4279 Headquarters Road
Mayville, WI 53050
Phone: 920-387-2658
1-800-947-3529 (V/TTY)

Email: greenbayrefuge@fws.gov