Willapa National Wildlife Refuge consists of over 17,000 acres of tidelands, temperate rainforest, ocean beaches, and small streams. It also includes several rare remnants of old growth coastal cedar forest. Preserving habitat for spawning wild salmon, hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds and waterfowl, and threatened species such as the western snowy plover and marbled murrelet, the refuge is the place to see what the Pacific Northwest looked like over 100 years ago.
Trail Closure

Porter Point Loop - Temporary Closure
Porter Point Loop is closed to all access beginning January 9 and continuing through early spring. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, is conducting forest management in the area and reducing hazardous fuels. 

Visit Us

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is rich in wildlife and recreation opportunities. People come to the refuge each year to enjoy solitude, to commune with nature, and to share the joys of wildlife with family and friends. Regulation of recreation activities, such as day-use hours, hiking and camping in designated areas, and hunting regulations allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Willapa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 to protect migrating birds and their habitat at a time when many estuaries and shallow water bays were being destroyed in the name of progress. The refuge has grown to encompass diverse ecosystems including salt marsh salt marsh
      Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

      Learn more about salt marsh
      , mud flats, forest, freshwater wetlands, streams, grasslands, coastal dunes and beaches. This rich mix of habitats provide places for over 200 bird species to rest, nest and winter, including over 30 species of waterfowl (ducks and geese) and over 30 species of shorebirds. Other animals such as chum salmon, Roosevelt elk, and over a dozen species of amphibians benefit from the protection of the Refuge, and the care of dedicated refuge and partner staff, and other friends of wildlife, like you!

      What We Do

      Willapa National Wildlife Refuge protects and manages habitats in order to conserve the local and migratory wildlife that rely on them. Much of this management work involves maintaining, enhancing, or restoring habitat. In order to successfully do this work, the Refuge works with a variety of partners, from fellow federal agencies to local non-profit organizations.

      Our Organization

      A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 570 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.
      A large bird with brown feathers, white head, and yellow beak flies against a pale blue sky
      The Migratory Bird Program works with partners to protect, restore and conserve bird populations and their habitats for the benefit of future generations by: ensuring long-term ecological sustainability of all migratory bird populations, increasing socioeconomic benefits derived from birds,...

      Our Species

      Hundreds of plant and animal species use the diverse habitats protected by Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, including a number of threatened and endangered species. There are many resident species that live here year-round, as well as migratory species that stop to utilize the habitats for a various lengths of time. Each season provides an opportunity to observe new wildlife species.

      marbled murrelet in flight

      The marbled murrelet is a small, chubby seabird that has a very short neck. During the breeding season it has dark brown to blackish upperparts and a white belly and throat that are greatly mottled. During the winter the upperparts become grey, dark marks form on the sides of the breast and a...

      FWS Focus
      Western snowy plover

      The western snowy plover is a small shorebird with moderately long legs and a short neck. Their back is pale tan while their underparts are white, and have dark patches on the sides of their neck which reach around onto the top of their chest. Juveniles are similar to nonbreeding adults, but...

      FWS Focus
      Streaked horned lark standing on the ground at an airport

      Horned larks are small, long-bodied songbirds that usually adopt a horizontal posture. They have short, thin bills, short necks, and rounded heads. The shape sometimes broken by two small "horns" of feathers sticking up toward the back of the head. Male horned larks are sandy to rusty brown...

      FWS Focus

      Get Involved

      Volunteers are an integral part of what we do. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skillsets. 

      Projects and Research

      Willapa National Wildlife Refuge conducts high-priority inventory and monitoring activities as well as research, assessments, and studies to enhance endangered and threatened species protection and recovery as well as habitat management and restoration activities. The gathering of scientific information assists in evaluating resource management and public use activities to facilitate adaptive management and contribute to the enhancement, protection, use, preservation and management of wildlife populations and their habitats on and off refuge lands.


      At Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, tides ebb and flow through tidal creeks of the salt marsh that meet up with cool and cloudy maritime forest. These tidal creeks and channels were once dominated by Chum salmon, traveling miles upstream to spawn each fall. Historically, Willapa Bay had over 14,000 acres of saltmarsh, mudflats, and salmon-bearing streams. Less than half of these...