Urban national wildlife refuges work with community partners to expand outdoor recreation and education for Americans living in and around cities. They strive to dismantle historic barriers to access and make all visitors feel welcome. The 101 urban refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are all located within 25 miles of population centers of 250,000 people or more. Urban refuges are part of the Urban Wildlife Conservation Program.

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge stretches across 20.5 miles of beach and shoreline habitat between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach along Florida's east coast in Brevard and Indian River Counties. The refuge was designated to protect habitat at the most significant area for loggerhead sea...
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the nation with more than 145,000 acres of land where visitors can reconnect with nature.
Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge is one of the eight refuges that comprise the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge gives visitors unique opportunities to emerge themselves in nature with acres to explore, wondrous species to observe, and numerous year-round...
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located in the southeastern corner of the City of Virginia Beach. The refuge was established in 1938 to protect and provide habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Diverse habitats, including beachfront, freshwater marsh, dunes, shrub-scrub and upland...
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is home to many native Texas wildlife and plants, and was specifically established to protect the nesting grounds of the black-capped vireo and the endangered golden-cheeked warbler.
Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans is one of the last remaining marsh areas adjacent to Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne. The refuge contains a variety of wildlife habitats — including patches of bottomland hardwood forest, freshwater, brackish and estuarine tidal marshes,...
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge lies in northern Utah, where the Bear River flows into the northeast arm of the Great Salt Lake. On the ancestral homelands of the semi-nomadic Shoshone, Paiute, Bannock, and Ute people known as the Newe or Meme (the People), the Refuge protects the marshes found...
Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is a natural treasure on the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain north of New Orleans, LA. The refuge has over 18,000 acres of freshwater and brackish marsh, bald cypress-tupelo forest, bayous, hardwood forest hammocks, and pine savannah. The refuge's marshes...
Refuge staff work to restore natural floodplain conditions, including bottomland forests and its associated wetlands for the benefit of wildlife. We strive to provide public access to all areas for wildlife dependent recreation including hunting and fishing.
Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Olympia, Washington, is located where the freshwater of the Nisqually River flows into Puget Sound. The mosaic of different habitats found on the River Delta provide optimal conditions for diverse and abundant wildlife.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1933 as a waterfowl sanctuary for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway.
Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge was authorized in 1992 and established in 1997 to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat in and along the Missouri River. At Boyer Chute, the namesake side channel was restored after being blocked in 1937 to aid riverboat navigation. Following restoration...
Incoming tides of the costal refuge combine life-giving nourishment from the Gulf with fresh river waters to create one of the most biologically rich environments in Texas.
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, extending 22 miles along the South Carolina Coast, is a rich mosaic of barrier islands with forest and ponds, vast salt marshes and intricate waterways. This diverse and dynamic system supports over 293 bird species and a myriad of other wildlife. Over fifty...
Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge has a fascinating history. From a famous hunt club to a refuge in 1964, it has provided habitat for a variety of waterfowl, bald eagles and plants for many years. The nearly 2,500 acres protect rare plants and habitats that aren’t found in other areas of Ohio.
Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge was established for the conservation of migratory birds and federal trust species, and the habitats they depend on. The lands and waters of the Cherry Valley have been widely recognized for their valuable natural resources. These include a diverse mosaic of...
Currituck National Wildlife Refuge was established to preserve, protect and maintain healthy and viable populations of migratory birds, wildlife, fish and plants, including federal and state endangered species and trust species. The refuge restores, enhances and maintains the natural processes and...
In southwest Idaho’s Treasure Valley, surrounded by suburban homes and farmlands, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge provides refuge for both wildlife and people. The refuge protects the Lake Lowell Unit and the Snake River Islands Unit to provide oases for resident and migratory wildlife,...
Desert National Wildlife Refuge is the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska and protects the largest intact habitat for the Desert Bighorn Sheep in the Mojave desert.
DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Missouri River and borders both Iowa and Nebraska. Within its 8,365 acres lies DeSoto Lake, an oxbow lake that used to be a bend in the Missouri River. The refuge contains bottomland forests, tall grass prairie and wetland habitats that are...
The Detroit River has long served the United States and Canada as a vital transportation corridor and center for industries that helped forge the economies of both nations. As a result of this growth, the river and its ecosystem have paid a high price for human progress. Indeed, in our mind and in...
In the heart of California's high-tech industry lies a wildlife oasis in an urban sea with 30,000 acres of habitat for millions of migratory birds and endangered species. Established in 1972 through local activism, the refuge provides not only critical habitat for threatened and endangered species...
Each fall, like colorful clockwork, visitors are treated to a spectacular drama as millions of songbirds and monarch butterflies and thousands of raptors converge on their voyage south.
Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 48,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats. More than 82 percent of Forsythe refuge is wetlands, of which 78 percent is salt marsh, interspersed with shallow coves and bays. The refuge’s location in one of the Atlantic Flyway’...
The refuge was established in 1974 to protect the significant natural, historical, and cultural resources from the impending threats of development. Egmont Key NWR, located on a remote 250 acre island situated at the mouth of Tampa Bay, provides important habitat for nesting sea turtles, gopher...
Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge protects 187 acres on the north shore of Long Island’s south fork in the town of Southampton. The refuge is located near Sag Harbor, and includes a peninsula one and a half miles long, locally known as Jessup’s Neck, which separates Little Peconic Bay...
The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, steeped in cultural history and natural resources, is located within the larger 350,000-acre Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin System, which represents one of the largest undeveloped wetland ecosystems remaining on the Atlantic Coast. The...
Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge is a 325 acre sanctuary of upland forest and freshwater tidal marsh, which provides critical habitat for migratory birds, wintering waterfowl, and a variety of mammalian species. Currently the refuge is only accessible by non-motorized watercraft.
Located within the heart of Florida's Big Cypress Basin, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge protects core habitat for the endangered Florida panther and all native wildlife who roam within the apex predator’s habitats.
Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a study in transition. Here, the waterlogged wet pine savannas give way to the marshes, freshwater streams, and bayous of the Escatawpa River system. Slowly these fresh water systems system wind their way toward the Mississippi Sound and ultimately the Gulf of...
Established in 1992, Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located along the eastern shore of New Hampshire's Great Bay in the town of Newington. The refuge protects more than 1,000 acres along the seacoast for migratory birds and other wildlife. It is one of the longest stretches of undeveloped...
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge contains some of the most important wildlife habitat in the mid-Atlantic region. At near 113,000 acres, the refuge is the largest intact remnant of a vast swamp that once covered more than one million acres.
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, one of the eight refuges that comprise the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge is the complex headquarters and is broken into several units with two main units, the Sudbury unit and the Concord unit. These different units give...
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is located only 26 miles west of New York City’s Times Square. It is a 12-square-mile natural oasis in an area that is mostly suburban, making the refuge an outstanding area for migrating waterfowl to stop, rest and feed on their migration. Points of interest...
The refuge has been established since November 6, 2012. It all started with a generous 12 acre conservation easement donation and local support from community members. Located in southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois, Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge will serve to connect the dots of...
Located between Rochester and Buffalo, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) has been described as one of the best kept secrets of Western New York.
J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel, is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States. President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order creating the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge in 1945 for the purpose of and in...
Aloha and welcome to James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge! Part of the National Wildlife Refuge systems, James Campbell is a sanctuary for many species that are native and endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.
James River NWR was established in 1991 to protect bald eagles and other species of special concern within 4800 acres of forests and wetlands. Management of these lands focus on conserving habitats to benefit and promote healthy populations of native plants and animals. The wildlife refuge provides...
Many visitors are able to view the periphery of the refuge as they canoe or kayak the Narrow River. Although there is no refuge trail system, visitors can gain a vantage point of the refuge from the Middle Bridge pull-out and Sprague Bridge on Route 1A. Designated fishing access points also provide...
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of lands set aside for the benefit of native wildlife and plants. Established in 1972 through local activism, the refuge protects habitat for the benefit of both...
Lake Woodruff NWR was established in 1964 as a migratory bird refuge, part of five million-plus acres purchased by US Fish & Wildlife Service with proceeds from the Federal Duck Stamp Program. It is located in Volusia County, Florida near the community of DeLeon Springs. The famed St Johns...
The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge was established “… for the development, advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and wildlife resources…” 16 U.S.C. 742f(a)(4); “…for the benefit of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in performing its activities...
Nestled between the Blue Mountains and the plains of eastern Oregon, McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge is an aquatic oasis. Supporting a high diversity of wildlife, the refuge provides sanctuary to breeding and migratory birds in an otherwise arid and sparse desert environment. The refuge...
Eighteen miles south of Washington D.C., on the banks of the Potomac River, lies a peninsula known as Mason Neck. Here, on February 1, 1969, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created the first national wildlife refuge established specifically for the protection of our nation’s symbol, the bald...
McNary National Wildlife Refuge is a welcomed respite for migratory birds, native plants and human visitors alike. The 15,000 acres of sloughs, ponds, streams and islands—riparian and wetland habitat—as well as upland shrub-steppe and cliff-talus habitat are important to migratory waterfowl,...
Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge was established as an individual refuge on May 31, 2000. The refuge consists of seven island divisions that lie within the uncontrolled portion of the Middle Mississippi River, below the confluence with the Missouri River, where river levels are not...
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a thriving urban refuge where nature connects people, communities and wildlife. Where diverse communities are welcomed through meaningful connections, educational opportunities and recreational experiences, while conserving wildlife habitat in the...
Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge contains the largest contiguous section of undeveloped beach in Southeastern Florida and is considered one of the most productive sea turtle nesting areas in the Southeastern United States.
Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1990 with the purpose to protect, restore and reconstruct and manage native ecosystems of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna and sedge meadow. Prior to European-American settlement, tallgrass prairie covered 85% of Iowa. Today, less than 0.1% of...
Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge is one of five refuges of the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. This refuge, the former Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Landing Facility is located in Charlestown, Rhode Island. The glacial ice sheet and former uses have shaped this refuge's diverse...
Twenty miles south of Washington, D.C., where the Potomac meets the Occoquan River, lies Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge: an oasis for migratory birds and busy city residents seeking a quiet escape from development.
The Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1990 to protect, conserve, and restore habitat for wildlife native to the river and its floodplain. Refuge islands are gradually returning to forested conditions after years of farming, oil and gas extraction, and other activities....
Established in 1961, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge protects a network of wetlands, grasslands and forests to provide habitat for a variety of migratory birds, resident wildlife and threatened and endangered species. This network of land covers more than 8,000 acres and when combined with the...
Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge, located 40 miles west of Boston, is one of the eight refuges that comprise the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge gives nature enthusiasts various opportunities to enjoy nature with acres to explore, unique species to observe, and...
Congressman Lester Wolff Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge was donated to the Service by the Town of Oyster Bay in 1968 as a habitat for migratory birds, particularly wintering waterfowl. The refuge is open to the public but is only accessible by boat.
Located along the northeast coast of Massachusetts in an area of dense and expanding human development, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge has special significance and value to migratory birds, other wildlife, and people. The refuge also provides high-quality opportunities for nature-based...
Created to conserve and protect wildlife and wildlands through research, Patuxent Research Refuge offers 13,000 acres of tranquil forest, meadow and wetlands amid a densely populated urban area. Countless birds, mammals, pollinators, amphibians, and more call it home. Immerse yourself in this...
Aloha and welcome to the Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge! Part of the National Wildlife Refuge systems, Pearl Harbor is a sanctuary for many species that are native and endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.
The Pinellas National Wildlife Refuge(NWR), was established in 1951 as a breeding ground for colonial bird species. Herons, cormorants, egrets, endangered brown pelicans and many more species use this quiet refuge for nesting. Tarpon Key, one of the islands making-up the refuge, hosts the largest...
Plum Tree Island National Wildlife Refuge encompasses the largest contiguous salt marsh ecosystem in the lower Chesapeake Bay. The refuge was establishes as a sanctuary for migratory birds and is an important stopover site as they travel up and down the Atlantic Flyway. Hundreds of native plant and...
Presquile National Wildlife Refuge was officially established in 1953 for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds.
Red River National Wildlife Refuge is made up of several units in the Red River Valley in northwestern Louisiana and provides habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, songbirds, and other native wildlife species.. The Refuge boasts a large Visitor Center, Headquarters Offices and Education Center...
Located just north of Vancouver, Washington, the refuge is a unique retreat to nature nestled between the Columbia River and the town of Ridgefield.
Welcome to Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge! Located just 10 miles northeast of downtown Denver, you can step into nature and see the native wildlife that call the Refuge home. Bison, deer, raptors, songbirds, waterfowl, prairie dogs, and coyotes are just a few of the animals you...
Stretching inland from the Gulf beaches into the bottomland forests of the Brazos and San Bernard River basins, San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge provides vital habitat for migrating and wintering birds as well as resident wildlife. The refuge manages a diverse array of habitats across the...
The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge protects a rich diversity of endangered, threatened, migratory, and native species and their habitats in the midst of a highly urbanized coastal environment. The Refuge encompasses approximately 2,620 acres of land and water in and around San Diego Bay....
The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is not just a place for wildlife, but a refuge for the city-dwelling neighbors who surround it. Established in 1996 and stretching over 12,300 acres from the city of Jamul to communities in Spring Valley and eastern Chula Vista, the refuge is the U.S. Fish and...
Established in 1987, the 7,500-acre San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge is located in California's Stanislaus County. The refuge is situated where three major rivers (Tuolumne, Stanislaus and San Joaquin) join in the San Joaquin Valley, creating a mosaic of habitats that provide ideal...
Mudflat as far as the eye can see, vast stretches of lush pickleweed marsh, and a sense of solitude in the midst of seven million people best describe San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Established in 1943 for the protection of migratory birds, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is positioned along an east-west and north-south juncture of two major migratory routes for many species of birds. It is also at the northern-most point for many species whose range extends south into...
The Savannah River is the lifeblood of the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge which provides rich habitats that support a diverse array of migratory and resident wildlife.
Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge, which protects 597 acres in Ulster County, NY, was established in July 1999 to support grassland-dependent migratory birds and wintering raptors. With views of the majestic Shawangunk Ridge, the refuge is among a dwindling number of sites in New York...
The 30,700 acre refuge was established in 1965 at the urging of local conservationists and hunters interested in restoring the wildlife values of the St. Francis River Basin. Following that, the refuge became and remains the largest public land holding in Sherburne County. The refuge is now a wild...
The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was established in 1997 to conserve, protect and enhance the abundance and diversity of native plant, fish and wildlife species and the ecosystems on which they depend throughout the 7.2 million acre Connecticut River watershed. Currently, the...
Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge protects some of the last remaining undeveloped coastal habitats in Connecticut. These places are crucially important to wildlife, especially at-risk species that need space to feed, rest, establish a home and raise their young. We balance the needs of...
An urban refuge located 10 miles from downtown Sacramento, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge has been conserving and enhancing California Central Valley habitat and wildlife since 1992.
Located about 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia, Pa in Pennsville, NJ; Supawna Meadows NWR maintains thousands of acres of pristine natural land. The refuge manages this land for not only the animals and wildlife, but also for the people. At Supawna Meadows NWR visitors are welcome to explore our...
Acquired in 1967 as a donation from the Eberstadt family, Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge protects 80 acres on the north shore of Long Island in the Village of Lloyd Harbor, 25 miles east of New York City. The refuge is open to the public and is an extremely popular shore fishing location.
Welcome to the Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuge, where coastal habitat is actively protected and managed for migratory birds. Its location within the Atlantic Flyway, means the refuge provides an important resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for many species of songbirds and shorebirds....
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.
Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1994 to protect a remnant of the bottomland hardwood forest found along the Trinity River. The 30,000-acre refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System – a national network of lands and waters set aside and managed for the benefit...
The refuge includes 787 acres of various wildlife habitats including fields, shrublands, woodlands, fresh and saltwater ponds and sandy beaches and dunes.
Located in the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is one of only a handful of urban national wildlife refuges across the country. Situated within the floodplain of the Tualatin River, the refuge supports some of the most abundant and varied wildlife in the...
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 20,000 acres in eastern Washington on the edge of the Columbia River Basin. The Channeled Scablands ecosystem that predominates the Refuge is unique within the National Wildlife Refuge System and has characteristics that distinguish it from the...
Welcome to Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge! Located in the heart of Arvada, step into nature and see the native wildlife that call the Refuge home. Deer, raptors, songbirds, waterfowl, turtles, and coyotes are just a few of the animals you will see on your visit. Take a nature escape and...
Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1958 to protect and enhance habitat for migratory birds. Located between the Mississippi River and Illinois River, the refuge encompasses 9,225 acres of riverine and floodplain habitat scattered around the confluence of the rivers. The mosaic...
Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve and enhance populations of wildlife and their habitats, to protect and enhance water quality, and to provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation and research. The refuge conserves the biological diversity of the...
Located only four miles west of the Mississippi River and 15 miles northwest of Memphis, Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is an important stopover for waterfowl traveling through the Mississippi Flyway and for neotropical songbirds as they migrate to and from Central and South America.
Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge serves as an important link in the chain of barrier islands that lie along the Atlantic Flyway, providing excellent habitat for a variety of migratory birds. With little development and few management practices, the 10,053-acre refuge is one of the most pristine on...
Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge, located in Bessemer, Alabama, was established to provide protection for the endangered watercress darter.
The visitor center located at Wertheim showcases the wildlife and habitat of ten refuge units on Long Island. Visitors can also learn about opportunities for wildlife-viewing, hiking, fishing, educational programs and special events offered by refuge staff, interns and volunteers.
Located in Decatur, AL, the refuge attracts thousands of wintering waterfowl each year as well as manages and protects habitat for 12 federally endangered or threatened species.