Nansemond National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Nansemond River in Suffolk, Virginia. It is a satellite refuge managed by Great Dismal Swamp NWR and is not open to the public.

Visit Us

The Nansemond National Wildlife Refuge is not open for visitation. If you would like to view wildlife in the area, both Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge are near by and welcome visitors.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Our history

      Nansemond National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Nansemond River, a tributary of the James River in Virginia. 

      The refuge became part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System in 1973 when the US Navy transferred 207 acres of salt marsh salt marsh
      Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

      Learn more about salt marsh
      to the Service. In 1999, an additional 204 acres of upland grassland and forested stream corridors were transferred from the US Navy. Today, the refuge provides valuable habitat to wildlife of the area.

      Our namesake

      The Nansemond were a small Native American Tribe who were members of the Powhatan chiefdom. They lived along the Nansemond River, an area they called Chuckatuck, when English explorers first arrived in 1607 to establish a settlement that became Jamestown.

      What We Do

      Nansemond National Wildlife Refuge is an unstaffed refuge closed to visitation. Management activities are not funded at this time.

      Our Species

      Located in coastal Virginia, Nansemond National Wildlife Refuge is a seasonal home for migratory waterfowl, including black ducks, mallards and canvasbacks, as well as wading, marsh and shorebirds.