Resource Management

Redheads taking off

To help plants and wildlife, refuge staff uses a variety of habitat management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plant and wildlife values. Refuge staff carefully considers any management techniques and employ them in varying degrees according to the situation. 

Sensitive areas such as bird nesting areas, are closed to the public so that the land can support and recover threatened and endangered species. The San Diego Bay NWR is a special place that provides a safe haven from the surrounding urban development, and the nesting birds depend on this land for breeding, feeding, and resting. Migrating birds rest at this important stop along the Pacific Flyway. Restoration projects are carefully designed to mimic nature to allow target habitat types to develop passively.  Click on one of our large restoration efforts, "Salt Pond Restoration" or "Otay River Restoration" to learn more.


Wildlife and habitat management programs focus on the recovery of the endangered California least tern, endangered light-footed clapper rail, threatened western snowy plover, and the endangered plant, salt marsh bird's beak.

Least tern and snowy plover recovery actions include nest site preparation, predator control, and monitoring at the D Street fill within the Sweetwater Marsh Unit, and Salt Works within the South San Diego Bay Unit. Light-footed clapper rail recovery actions include salt marsh restoration, population monitoring, and a captive breeding program conducted in partnership with the Living Coast Discovery Center, SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo's Safari Park, and others.

Public involvement and input are important to us and to the planning process, and we hope you will take an active interest in the process, individually and as a community. 



Trapping Occurs on this Refuge.

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations.  

Learn more.