Wildlife & Habitat

The Sweetwater Marsh Unit of the San Diego Bay NWR in National City and Chula Vista, CA

The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect wildlife species that were threatened and endangered, and provide exclusive habitat just for them. Sweetwater Marsh provides habitat for four endangered or threatened species, and over 200 species of birds have been seen here. The Refuge is broken up into two distinct areas: the Sweetwater Marsh Unit and the South San Diego Bay Unit.

  • Sweetwater Marsh Unit

    The most significant habitat present on this Refuge Unit is coastal salt marsh. This habitat supports an array of invertebrates and juvenile fish, and provides nesting, foraging, and high water refuge for many species of birds.

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  • South San Diego Bay Unit

    The predominant native habitats within the South San Diego Bay Unit include shallow subtidal habitat and intertidal mudflats. In addition, the salt ponds provide resting and foraging habitat for a variety of avian species, while the levees around the ponds provide important nesting habitat for seven species of ground nesting seabirds.

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