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Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Nisqually NWR 28077.JPG
Map showing the location of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Location in Washington state
Location Thurston / Pierce counties, Washington, USA
Nearest city Lacey, WA
Coordinates 47°04′22″N 122°42′46″W / 47.07278°N 122.71278°W / 47.07278; -122.71278Coordinates: 47°04′22″N 122°42′46″W / 47.07278°N 122.71278°W / 47.07278; -122.71278
Area 3,914 acres (1,584 ha)
Established 1974
Visitors 137,000 (in 2004)
Governing body United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Ring-necked duck near the visitors center
American bittern, Nisqually NWR

The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife preserve operated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on the Nisqually River Delta near Puget Sound in northeastern Thurston County, Washington and northwestern Pierce County, Washington. The refuge is located just off Interstate 5, between the cities of Tacoma and Olympia.

The 12.6 km2 refuge was created in 1974 to provide habitat and nesting areas for waterfowl and other migratory birds. It includes a protected estuary, salt marshes and open mudflats, freshwater marshes, open grassland, and riparian woodland and brush. An additional 3.2 square kilometres (1.2 sq mi) planned is protected by the disjoint Black River Unit on a tributary of the Chehalis River.


The wildlife refuge is home to the Nisqually River Delta, which has the unique status as Washington’s largest relatively undisturbed estuary. The confluence of the freshwater Nisqually River and the saltwater south Puget Sound has created a variety of unique environments, each rich in nutrients and natural resources for the local wildlife. The delta provides habitats for more than 300 different species of fish and wildlife.[1]

In 1904 the Brown Farm Dike, five miles long, was created to protect farmland from tidal surge, resulting in a loss of important habitat for young fish, birds and marine mammals such as harbor seals. As part of a long running project to restore the estuary, in 2009 a new 10,000 foot dike was installed behind the old dike and four miles of the old Brown Farm Dike were removed. This enabled the tidal flows to reclaim 762 acres to the estuary.

Sea life features 24 species of fish located in one of three habitats: riverine, estuarine or the Nisqually Reach nearshore. Large populations of fall Chinook salmon, starry flounder and shiner perch offer a sampling of the fish that are abundantly available. Water mammals range in size from small porpoises to whales.[2]

The saltmarshes and mudflats are located outside of the dikes. Rich in nutrients, they are the home to clams, crabs, shrimp and worms, which in turn feed ducks, gulls and herons.

Over 20,000 birds, made up of 275 different migrating species, use the freshwater marshes and grasslands for breeding, resting or wintering. The most abundant bird types include raptors, shorebirds and songbirds. Larger animals such as hawks and coyotes feast in the grassland due to the presence of mice and voles.

The riparian woodland and brush habitats contain many amphibians, mammals and reptiles.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisqually_National_Wildlife_Refuge — Please support Wikipedia.
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717 videos foundNext > 

Virtual Field Trip - Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge - www.ourhomeschoolideas.com

A home school virtual tour of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Washington state. Includes short clips of different scenes of the refuge. Filmed by a...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Kayaked around the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and took photos and video. I saw seals, hawks, eagles, deer, crabs and even other kayakers. The boat la...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State offers vital wetlands and estuary habitat for migrating birds and also for salmon as they move between...

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

2014,06,27 Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge~Parkland

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Mallards

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Mallards and Heron.

2014,06,26 Tumwater to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge - heron


Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge - shorebirds


Stand Up Paddle the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

One of the most beautiful places to stand up paddle in Washington State-The Nisqually River Delta. Incredible to see crabs, jellyfish, and other saltwater li...

717 videos foundNext > 

234 news items


Thu, 15 Jan 2015 06:40:28 -0800

Just shy of the Thurston County line, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a world of trees, damselflies, and bird song. Seeking some fresh air and education, my son and I took a day to wander the trails at this lovely place. Like most four-year ...

The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:41:15 -0800

Hikers endure a steady, misty rain Tuesday as they walk along the Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge between Olympia and Tacoma. The waterfowl-hunting season is over, so the last 700 feet of the boardwalk opened ...
Access Washington
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 15:37:30 -0800

The University of Puget Sound, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and other AmeriCorps members will supply volunteer time and muscle. Peck knows the shoreline well. He spent the last two years as volunteer coordinator at the Nisqually Land Trust, ...
Bellingham Herald
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 00:03:45 -0800

That includes day trips to Mount Rainier National Park, bird watching at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, walking amid the geologic features at Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve, fishing for chinook salmon aboard a Westport charter boat, hiking the ...
Bellingham Herald
Sat, 10 Jan 2015 00:03:45 -0800

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge: Between Tacoma and Olympia, the refuge attracts thousands of ducks and geese through the winter, plus raptors and songbirds year-round. You also can see black-tailed deer, mink and coyotes at the forest edge. A 1 ...


Thu, 01 Jan 2015 07:18:45 -0800

With the easy 5.5-mile Brown Farm Dike Trail and the paved 1-mile Twin Barns Loop Trail, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is an excellent way to explore lower Puget Sound's marshes, saltwater tidal mudflats, creeks, rivers and at least a few ...


Sun, 08 Jun 2014 05:56:15 -0700

His certificate of training is prominently displayed in our home while his badge will certainly remain a treasured item. Clean air, clean dirt, and a whole lot of interesting things I know he'll remember, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge has been a ...

The Olympian

The Olympian
Sat, 11 Oct 2014 00:07:30 -0700

275: The number of bird species that use the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge as a migration stop, wintering area or breeding location. 30: The approximate number of active bald eagle nest sites in the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge near ...

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