In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established West Sister Island "as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. . . ," and it was specifically designated to protect the largest wading bird nesting colony on the U.S. Great Lakes. The refuge is jointly owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Staff at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge manage the island as a wilderness area, as provided under the Wilderness Act. West Sister Island is Ohio's only Wilderness Area.
To protect this vital nesting area, access is permitted for research only.
Refuge Contact Information:
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
14000 West State Route 2
Oak Harbor, OH 43449
Visitor Center Hours
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
7 days a week, closed some federal holidays
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Closed federal holidays