The 3,709-acre refuge is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The preserve is cooperatively managed by The Nature Conservancy, Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Center for Natural Lands Management. Both the refuge and the preserve protect the only remaining undeveloped sand dune ecosystem within the Coachella Valley. This blow-sand habitat is home to one of the most ecologically diverse communities found in the deserts of North America. Furthermore, many of the species of plants and animals that the dunes provide a home for are extremely rare, found only in this particular area. These species have evolved through time leaving them dependent on this dynamic sand dune habitat.