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The SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project

Urban Wildlife Refuge circle sticker logo

On August 13, 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director Dan Ashe announced a new $1M annual award for the SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project. This effort spans across the San Diego NWR Complex, Los Angeles, and the Hopper Mountain NWR Complex in Ventura. The project connects urban audiences with nature in their backyards, and engages Southern California communities and youth in wildlife conservation.

SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project

About the Complex

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Complex Graphic

The San Diego NWR Complex manages diverse wildlife and their habitats on four Refuges: Tijuana Slough NWR, San Diego Bay NWR, San Diego NWR, and Seal Beach NWR.

San Diego is managed as part of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

Follow NWRS Online



  • Starting a New Life: Immigrant Children Connect with Nature in Their New Home

    hugging plant_Lisa CoxJanuary 13, 2017

    EL CAJON, Calif. – Dirt flies as students dig in a garden, the sound of laughter bouncing across the schoolyard. “There’s sand in my shoes, but that’s not stopping me!” exclaims Maryna, a third-grader digging holes for new plants at Anza Elementary School. Maryna and her fellow students have faced a lot more than sand in their shoes. Most of the children who attend Anza, in El Cajon, just east of San Diego, have emigrated from war-torn countries such as Iraq and Syria. They came from places of desert rock and dirt, confined to their homes, fearful because running outside could be fatal.

    Read the full story here
  • NEWS RELEASE: Endangered Butterfly Gets a Second Chance

    Quino larvae thumbnail (Tammy Spratt/San Diego Zoo Global)December 16, 2016

    SPRING VALLEY, Calif.—A team of biologists from the San Diego Zoo, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Conservation Biology Institute released 742 larvae of the critically endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly within its native range in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. This is the first-ever captive-rearing and release attempt for this California native butterfly species, whose population has been in drastic decline over the last decade.

    NEWS RELEASE: Endangered Butterfly Larvae Released into Native Habitat
  • Acorns Planted by Volunteers

    Covering acorns with duff (Lauren Krase)December 10, 2016

    Oak trees are facing drought, pests, and diseases, and they need our help. That's why 25 volunteers with Refuge staff and the Earth Discovery Institute planted hundreds of acorns to restore oak woodland habitat on public lands.

    Acorns Planted by Volunteers
Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Rinus Baak/USFWS
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2017
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