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Washington > Washington National Wildlife Refuges and Preserves > Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
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Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is on Willapa Bay in Pacific County, the southernmost coastal county in Washington. The upland forest varies from successional stages from recently logged areas to an unique remnant of virgin, coastal cedar-hemlock forest home to deer, bear, elk, grouse, beaver, and numerous songbirds and small mammals.

Attractions - Willapa NWR offers an array of diverse scenery and wildlife observation. Vast beds of eelgrass at the lower levels of the intertidal zone are staple food for black brant, a migratory sea goose. Thousands of bay and sea ducks, loons, grebes, and cormorants find food and protection from wind and waves on Willapa Bay. The Leadbetter Point Unit at tip of Long Beach Peninsula supports a dynamic ecosystem. This world of sand dunes, grasses, and small shrubs constantly changes as dunes shift, become stabilized, and erode away. Tens of thousands of shorebirds feed and rest on Leadbetter Point's ocean beaches, bay tidal flats, and salt marshes during spring and fall migration peaks.

Recreation - Wildlife observation, study, photography, hiking, boat launching, and hunting are available activities at Willapa NWR. Fishing, clamming, and crabbing are allowed in Willapa Bay, tributary streams and on ocean beaches. Camping facilities are found at five primitive campgrounds on Long Island (boat access only). Waterfowl hunting and big game archery hunting activities are also found on the refuge.

Special Note:
The refuge administers a Presidential Proclamation Boundary that closes a portion of Willapa Bay to waterfowl hunting.

Climate - The climate of Washington varies within each region. The Cascades split the state and alter the weather patterns. The mountains receive large amounts of wet, heavy snow from October through May. These peaks remain snow covered throughout the year. The terrain east of the mountains receives approximately 12 inches of rainfall per year, generally much less than west of the mountains. Since the area east of the mountains is landlocked, temperatures in this region are lower during the winter months. Frequent winds coming down from the mountains also contribute to the low temperatures of eastern Washington.

Due to the coastal geography, western Washington is primarily temperate. The proximity to the ocean stabilizes the climate, making extreme temperatures very rare. The area receives large amounts of precipitation from Pacific rain and snow storms.

Location - The refuge office is located 13 miles north of Ilwaco on U.S. Highway 101. Long Island accessible only by boat at higher tide. Other units are separated by up to 25 miles of driving. Write the refuge office for a map.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Willapa NWR, HC 01, Box 910 , Ilwaco, WA, 98624-9707, Phone: 360-484-3482
, angie_chapman@fws.gov

Additional Information:
The Coast - Washington's coast is much more than a beach destination. Adventure abounds on both land and sea, be it birding or whale watching, kite flying or winter storm watching, horseback riding or clam digging.
Washington National Wildlife Refuges and Preserves - Washington's National Wildlife Refuges are found throughout the state. There are a total of eleven refuges in Washington.


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