About the Refuge

Shells along the shore - Richard Sack.

Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located on the north shore of Long Island in eastern Nassau County. This 3,209-acre refuge includes subtidal (bay bottom to mean high tide line) habitats, saltmarsh and a freshwater pond. Oyster Bay is the largest refuge in the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex and receives the most public use of all the refuges. The state of New York designated Oyster Bay as a significant coastal fish and wildlife habitat. The refuge is especially important for wintering waterfowl such as black ducks, greater scaup, bufflehead, canvasback and long-tailed ducks. A variety of other waterbirds including shorebirds, terns and cormorants also use Oyster Bay. Other marine organisms common to the refuge include northern diamondback terrapins, harbor seals, sea turtles, finfish and shellfish. Management activities include wetland restoration and protection of the natural shoreline and vegetation. Fishing (Town of Oyster Bay permits required for shell fishing), wildlife observation, photography and environmental education are approved recreational uses on the refuge.

The Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of seven national wildlife refuges, two refuge sub-units and one wildlife management area. Collectively, the ten units are approximately 6,500 acres in size. Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge is home to the refuge complex headquarters and visitor center.