This 15-acre refuge and Wilderness supports breeding seabird colonies and boasts the only pupping site of Steller Sea Lions on the north Oregon coast.

Visit Us

Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge is a series of islands just offshore from the town of Oceanside.  It is closed year round to the public due to the sensitive nesting habitat it protects for seabirds and marine mammals.  View it from the beach in Oceanside or from Cape Meares.  

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      In October of 1907, Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge was established as the first National Wildlife Refuge west of the Mississippi River largely due to the efforts of two young conservationists: William L. Finley and Herman Bohlman. Today it sustains the largest and most diverse seabird colony in Oregon and is an important breeding site for Steller sea lions.

      What We Do

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conserves and monitors plants and wildlife, manages and restores habitat, and provides outdoor recreation for the public at the nation’s more than 550 National Wildlife Refuges. 

      Our Species

      Three Arch Rocks NWR historically was home to one of the largest seabird colonies on the Oregon Coast, with more than 200,000 Common murres breeding on the islands. In addition to seabirds, Steller Sea Lions also breed on Three Arch Rocks.

      black oystercatcher on a rock

      The adult Black Oystercatcher is a large shorebird with a black head and body; large red bill; stout, dull pink legs; and yellow eyes, with surrounding ring of red skin. Juvenile Black Oystercatchers are similar in appearance to adults; however, they may have somewhat browner plumage, a dark tip...

      FWS Focus
      Bald eagle up close with wing raised

      A large raptor, the bald eagle has a wingspread of about seven feet. Adults have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling on the body, tail, and undersides of wings. Adult plumage usually is obtained by the sixth year. In...

      FWS Focus
      Falcon with grey plumage, grey cheek patches, and yellow and grey beak in mid-flight.

      Medium to large falcon, with bluish-gray upperparts (becoming more blackish on head) in adults, variable-width blackish facial stripe extending down from eye across malar, this stripe usually set off by pale auriculars or "cheek," but pattern sometimes obscured if cheek all dark; underparts...

      FWS Focus

      Get Involved

      From its start in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has owed its very existence to concerned citizens eager to protect America's natural resources. 

      Projects and Research

      To help plants and wildlife, Oregon Coastal Refuge staff uses a variety of habitat management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plant and wildlife values.