U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge

Voice of America Road
3 miles north of U.S. Hwy 101
West of Sequim, WA   
E-mail: Kevin_Ryan@fws.gov
Phone Number: 360-457-8451
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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On December 14, 1857, the New Dungeness Lighthouse became the first operational light on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget sound. The lighthouse was 100 feet tall at first, but was lowered to 63 feet in 1927 because of cracking in the tower. Originally equipped with an oil-burning light and a bell, these signals were progressively replaced with newer technology and power sources. Today it is one of the few remaining lighthouses in the Strait of Juan de Fuca-Puget Sound Region, and the only one that is staffed full-time and open to the public. The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

The rich bounty of fish, shellfish, and waterfowl in the waters around Dungeness Spit provided many people with their livelihoods. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this was a prime area for waterfowl hunters, who supplied restaurants in Seattle. A new invention, the power boat, allowed these "market hunters" easy access to flocks of brant that wintered in the area.

Ornithologist Walter Taylor reported, "During the months of November and December 1913, no less than 3,000 black brants are reported to have been killed in the vicinity of Smith Island [20 miles from Dungeness] by hunters who pursued thm by the use of power boats, most of the birds being killed in the kelp beds offshore.

Public concern over rapidly dwindling numbers of geese and ducks led to the establishment of Dungeness Refuge in 1915.

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