About the Refuge

PROMO Intro NestRiv 512x219

Nestucca Bay, at 1,202 acres, is the largest refuge within the Oregon Coastal Refuge Complex. Located where the Nestucca and Little Nestucca rivers converge and debouch into the Pacific, the refuge is managed to provide wintering habitat for six subspecies of Canada Geese, including Aleutian and Dusky Canada Geese. The refuge also hosts several species of dabbling ducks, shorebirds and raptors on at least seven distinct habitat types.


Established in 1991 to protect and enhance habitat for Dusky Canada Geese (a species of concern) and Aleutian Cackling Geese (formerly endangered), Nestucca Bay Refuge actively engages in pasture management with local dairy farmers to offer prime habitat for geese during the winter. In fact, the verdant pastures around Nestucca Bay harbor six subspecies of "white-cheeked geese", including the world's population of Semidi Islands Aleutian Cackling Geese. 

On July 11, 2000, the refuge boundary was expanded by 375 acres to include Neskowin Marsh. Neskowin Marsh is a rare and outstanding example of a coastal bog ecosystem with exceptional biological value. Marsh, bog, forested wetlands, and upland meadows form a habitat complex important to a diverse and abundant group of plant and animal species. Since establishment, acquisition of tracts in and around Neskowin Marsh has increased the Neskowin Marsh Unit acreage to 228. This unit is closed to the public.

In 2007 an 83-acre tidal marsh restoration project was completed on the Little Nestucca River Unit of the refuge. This restoration project constituted a 30% increase in tidal marsh habitat in the estuary. Primary partners on this project included Ducks Unlimited, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and the Oregon Coastal Program. The project is already benefiting juvenile salmonids, waterfowl and other species.

In June 2009 the refuge completed acquisition of the 76-acre Martella Tract, located along the Little Nestucca River. The subpopulation of Semidi Islands Aleutian Cackling Goose uses the pastures on this Tract, and this acquisition, made possible only through the timely assistance of The Nature Conservancy, ensures protection of this irreplaceable wintering habitat in perpetuity.

The Two Rivers Peninsula (acquired by the USFWS in 2013 in partnership with The Nature Conservancy), located at the confluence of the Nestucca and Little Nestucca rivers, contains upland forest, shoreline, and tideland habitats at the northern tip of Cannery Hill. Wildlife using this area includes migratory songbirds, Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Bobcat, Black-tailed Deer, and many other species. Shoreline and tideland habitats are used by a variety of estuarine fish, including Coho and Chinook salmon. The 200 acre peninsula now fully protects the area for wildlife and outdoor recreation.  It's a great area to hike and view coastal prairie and mixed hardwood forest.  

Refuge Headquarters:
Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex
2127 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR 97365