About the Refuge

Franklin Island - USFWS.

The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge contains more than 73 offshore islands and four coastal parcels, totaling more than 9,478 acres. The Service's primary focus at Maine Coastal Islands Refuge is restoring and managing colonies of nesting seabirds. Refuge islands provide habitat for common, Arctic, and endangered roseate terns; Atlantic puffins; razorbills; common murres; black guillemots; Leach's storm-petrels; herring, great black-backed, and laughing gulls; double-crested and great cormorants; and common eiders. Over the last 25 years, the Service has worked to reverse the decline in these birds' populations. As a result, many species have returned to islands where they nested historically.

In addition to seabirds, wading birds and bald eagles nest on refuge islands. The mainland divisions provide habitat for songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl, as well as opportunities for bird watching and hiking.

Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Brochure (pdf) 

Maine Coastal Islands - Hiking Trails (pdf)

We Are a Complex

The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex is comprised of five individual refuges which span the coast of Maine and support an incredible diversity of habitats including, coastal islands, forested headlands, estuaries and freshwater wetlands. The five separate refuges are: Cross Island, Petit Manan, Seal Island, Franklin Island, and Pond Island national wildlife refuges. Each has separate establishment histories and refuge purposes as described below, but they are referred to collectively as the “Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge”. Seal, Franklin, and Pond islands are single-island refuges. Cross Island Refuge is a six-island complex, while Petit Manan Refuge includes 73 islands and 4 mainland divisions, including: Petit Manan Point (2,178 acres), Sawyers Marsh (1,150 acres), Gouldsboro Bay (635 acres) divisions and Corea Heath (431 acres).

All totaled, the refuge includes approximately 9,478 acres of diverse coastal Maine habitats including forested and non-forested offshore islands, coastal salt marsh, open field, and upland mature spruce-fir forest.