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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
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Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

At Dungeness Refuge, one of the world's longest natural sand spits softens the rough sea waves to form a quiet bay and harbor, gravel beaches, and tideflats. Here wildlife find food, a place to rest, and protection from winds and pounding surf. Recognizing the areas's importance to wildlife, President Woodrow Wilson declared Dungeness Spit and its surrounding waters a national wildlife refuge in 1915.

The refuge provides habitat for a wide diversity of wildlife species. Over 250 species of birds and 41 species of land mammals have been recorded on the refuge along with eight species of marine mammals.

Approximately 8,000 black brant stage in the area during April. Shorebirds and water birds feed and rest along the water's edge; and about 600 harbor seals haul out to rest and have their pups on the end of Dungeness and Graveyard Spits.

Getting There . . .
The refuge is about 15 miles east of Port Angeles, Washington, on the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, at the end of Voice of America Road.

West of Sequim on Highway 101, turn north on Kitchen-Dick Road. Follow it 3 miles as it dog-legs to the east (right) and becomes Lotzgessell Road. You'll see immediately on your left the entrance to the Dungeness Recreation Area and Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. Go through the recreation area to the refuge parking lot.

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These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

About 10,000 years ago, melting glaciers left thick deposits of sand and gravel along the coastline here. Waves eroded these deposits, creating steep bluffs, and gradually pushed the sand north and east from the headland, creating the Dungeness Spit. At 5 miles long, it continues to grow at its tip at the rate of 13 feet (4.4 meters) per year. Dungeness Spit and bluffs overlooking it created a variety of habitats that are home to more than 250 bird species, 44 land mammals, and 11 marine mammals.

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For thousands of years, S'Klallam people visited Dungeness Spit to gather shellfish, hunt waterfowl, and bury their dead. In 1872, the S'Klallam were forced from their villages along the Dungeness River by Euro-American homesteaders and spent a difficult year living on the spit.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
The refuge protects critical habitat for wildlife and provides viewing opportunities for people. To ensure that wildlife continue to have a place to rest and feed, some recreational activities are allowed only in selected areas during certain times of the year.

Portions of the refuge are closed to provide sanctuary for wildlife during critical feeding, resting, and nesting times. The refuge has an active program of volunteers helping with public information, education, maintenance, and wildlife protection. If you would like to become involved, call the refuge office.

In 1990, Graveyard Spit was designated as a Research Natural Area (RNA) due to its unique vegetation. In RNAs, natural processes are allowed to predominate without human intervention. Activities on RNAs are limited to research, study, observation, monitoring, and educational activities that are non-destructive, non-manipulative, and maintain unmodified conditions.

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