Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Complex. A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central office location. Refuges are grouped into a complex structure because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs. Typically, a project leader or complex manager oversees the general management of all refuges within the complex and refuge managers are responsible for operations at specific refuges. Supporting staff, composed of administrative, law enforcement, refuge manager, biological, fire, visitor services, and maintenance professionals, are centrally located and support all refuges within the complex.
Other refuges in the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Complex include: Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge Complex headquarters is located at 100 Brown Farm Rd, Olympia, WA, 98516
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Most of the world's population of Western Sandpipers move through Grays Harbor estuary, some spending two to five days.