Martin National Wildlife Refuge

The Martin National Wildlife Refuge is a 4,500-acre wetland, covering the northern half of Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay.

Visit Us

Martin National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public to protect wetland habitats. However, much of the refuge can be seen by boat, and an interpretive display about the refuge can be found at the Smith Island Cultural Center.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      First established in 1954 through a 2,569 acre donation by the late Glenn L. Martin, the Martin National Wildlife Refuge now covers 4,548 acres, including the northern half of Smith Island, 11 miles west of Crisfield, Maryland, and Watts Island, located between the eastern shore of Virginia and Tangier Island in lower Chesapeake Bay.

      Our Species

      The tidal marsh, coves, creeks and ridges of Martin National Wildlife Refuge provide an important rest area and winter home for thousands of migratory waterfowl and nesting habitat for a variety of wildlife that change with the seasons.

      A dark bird with an orange bill and a white stripe in the wings flies in front of the ocean

      Identification Tips: Length: 16 inches Large shorebird Bright orange, long, thick bill Head and breast black Dark gray back and wings White belly Large white patch on inner wing White uppertail coverts and dark tail Pink legs Adult: Yellow eye Orange orbital ring Juvenile: Eye dark and orbital...

      FWS Focus

      Projects and Research

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently supervised a living shoreline construction project at Martin NWR. This project not only protects vital wildlife habitat, but also helps preserve the livelihoods of Smith Island residents.