National Wildlife Refuge
|At the mouth of Discovery Bay
in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in
Jefferson County, WA
Phone Number: 360-457-8451
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge
Protection Island Refuge is located near the mouth of Discovery Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Jefferson County, Washington. Approximately 70 percent of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca nest on the island, which includes one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinoceros auklets in the world and the largest nesting colony of glaucous-winged gulls in Washington. The island contains one of the last 2 nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area. About 1,000 harbor seals depend upon the island for a pupping and rest area.
Getting There . . .
Protection Island Refuge is located at the mouth of Discovery Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The island is closed to the public to protect nesting seabirds and harbor seals. Private boat tours around the island are available from nearby marinas.
The refuge is closed to the public.
This 364-acre island is covered by grass and low brush, with a small timbered area, high sandy bluffs for seabird nesting, and low sand spits on two ends of the island. A 200-yard buffer around the island is closed year round to protect wildlife resources. The 48-acre Zella M. Schultz Seabird Sanctuary (on the west end on the island) is managed by the Washington State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.
Nine families and a research group from Walla Walla College were granted extended use privileges when the refuge was established. They are permitted limited walking access to a beach in the winter and the use of their lots and access roads to the lots.