About the Refuge

Brown Pelicans and Gulls

At just 367 acres, the Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge boasts a colorful mosaic of coastal dunes, beaches, salt marshes, saline ponds, grasslands, and riparian habitats. 


The refuge was initially established in 1973 because of its prime location along the Pacific Flyway.  During the spring and fall migrations, thousands of birds traveling along the Pacific Flyway flock to the refuge, seeking shelter and food in one of the few remaining wetlands along the central California coast.  Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge also protects several threatened and endangered species, including Western snowy plover, Smith’s blue butterfly, and Monterey spineflower.