Laws and Regulations


General special use permits are needed for after-hours access, special access to closed areas or commercial ventures including filming and recording. Please address these special use permit questions to the deputy refuge manager.  

Colleges and Universities: For those wishing to conduct any research, inventory or monitoring projects on the refuge please address special use permit questions and applications to the wildlife biologist. 

See the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ePermit system to apply for Special Use Permits.

  • General Activities
  • Research and Monitoring
  • Commercial Activities

Site Specific Rules and Regulations 

  • Special rules and regulations for the refuge. 

National Wildlife Refuge System Laws 

Refuges are special places where wildlife comes first. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded. The refuge system has special regulations about what you can do. 50 Code of Federal Regulations - Subchapter C – regarding activities on refuges.

The main laws pertaining to the founding and guidance of Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge are outlined below. 

An aerial view of pelican island.

The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act provides authority, guidelines and directives for the Service to improve the National Wildlife Refuge System; administers a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and restoration of fish, wildlife and plant...