Tijuana Slough is a 1,072-acre wetland located where the Tijuana River meets the sea. The refuge was established in 1980 and is part of the 2,800-acre Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR), one of only 28 such reserves in the United States.

Visit Us

Old wood pilings on the left used to hold a sewage pipe. Sewage was pumped to former holding ponds that are now the habitats east of North McCoy trail.

Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge is 1,072 acres in size and is located where the Tijuana River meets the Pacific Ocean, also called the Tijuana Estuary. Be sure to spend some time out discovering the trails to take in the incredible views and birds that soar across the estuary.

Location and Contact Information

      CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) NOTICE

      Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

      • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
      • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
      • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.

      About Us

      Tijuana Slough is a 1,072-acre wetland located where the Tijuana River meets the sea. The refuge was established in 1980 and is part of the 2,800-acre Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR), one of only 28 such reserves in the United States.

      What We Do

      The purposes of Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge are to conserve fish, wildlife, and plants which are listed as endangered species or threatened species. Conservation of the endangered light-footed Ridgway’s rail was the primary impetus for the establishment of this Refuge.

      Our Species

      Bird populations have been an important factor in the special protective status attributed to the Tijuana Estuary. Over 370 bird species are reported for the area. Five federally listed threatened or endangered birds occur regularly in the Reserve: the light-footed Ridgway’s rail, the California least tern, least Bell's vireo, the California gnatcatcher, and the western snowy plover. 

      Projects and Research

      40 Years of Restoration

      This report summarizes lessons learned in restoration to help inform future management efforts at the Tijuana Estuary.