San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, California.

San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an urban refuge located on San Diego Bay in southern California. The refuge, comprising 316 acres of salt marsh and coastal uplands surrounded by urban development, is a critically important area for wildlife because over 90 percent of the historic wetlands of San Diego Bay have been filled in, drained, or diked. This refuge is free to the public and has a small network of trails. There is a nature center, called the Living Coast Discovery Center, which is also open to the public every day from 10am to 5pm. Visit their website at: You must take in the shuttle bus to enter the refuge, which also operates between the hours of 10am and 5pm. Sweetwater Marsh unit provides habitat for four endangered or threatened species, including the light-footed clapper rail. It is also the only place in the United Sates where yerba reuma, a member of the heath family, grows naturally. More than 200 species of birds have been recorded on the refuge. With 90 to 100% of submerged lands, intertidal mudflats, and salt marshes eliminated in the north and central Bay, the South Bay unit of the refuge preserves and restores the remaining wetlands, mudflats and eel grass beds to ensure that the bay's thousands of migrating and resident shorebirds and waterfowl will survive into the next century.

Nearby Activities


From Interstate 5, take the E Street exit. The nature center parking lot is located at the western terminus of E Street. A shuttle bus takes visitors to the nature center.

Additional Information

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