a vast wetland with water moving through marsh grasses
Final Habitat Management Plan Released

After reviewing comments and consultation with experts and partner organizations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made a Finding of No Significant Impact in implementing the proposed alternative outlined in the draft Habitat Management Plan for Parker River and Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuges. The finalized plan can be read here, a summary of frequently asked questions can be read here, and hard copies are available at the visitor center. Thank you to everyone who participated in this public process.

Image of Pink House with closed sign
Pink House Environmental Assessment

Staff are currently reviewing all public comments submitted between November 1-30, 2023. We are in the process of analyzing comments and editing the plan and anticipate the final draft to be published later this winter. While the public comment period has ended, anyone with potentially viable land exchange opportunities may still reach out to refuge staff at parkerriver@fws.gov (see this page for specific land exchange criteria).

Located along the northeast coast of Massachusetts in an area of dense and expanding human development, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge has special significance and value to migratory birds, other wildlife, and people. The refuge also provides high-quality opportunities for nature-based recreation, including walking & biking, wildlife observation & photography, hunting, fishing, paddling, and beach use. We hope you visit us soon!

Visit Us

Come explore YOUR national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
by visiting during open hours, or joining one of our programs!

The refuge supports a wide variety of wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities. You can learn more about how to enjoy some of our popular activities using the links below:

Pass Types & Fees

Paid Passes

Free Passes

***If purchasing passes at the refuge, payment can be made by cash or check only. Please call ahead to ensure that someone will be able to sell you a pass when you wish to come. Alternatively, most passes can be purchased online through Rec Access or USGS.***

Location and Contact Information

      Tours

      To schedule a program, tour, or field trip of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, contact us at 978-465-5753, or via email at parkerriver@fws.gov.

      Our Species

      Grey, white and black bird on sand in the foreground

      Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band....

      FWS Focus

      Our Library

      Alternative Beaches & Recreation Areas

      Parker River NWR periodically closes due to capacity and/or management requirements. But fear not! There are many local beaches and recreation areas to explore.

      Final Habitat Management Plan - Parker River NWR & Thacher Island NWR

      This Habitat Management Plan (HMP) provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managingpriority species, habitats, and ecosystems at Parker River and Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuges(NWRs). This is accomplished by determining the refuges’ priorities, setting goals and objectives...