Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington.


Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge was set aside "to provide habitat for a broad diversity of bird species, with particular emphasis on protecting the nesting habitat of the bald eagle, tufted puffin, rhinoceros auklet, pigeon guillemot, and pelagic cormorant; to protect the hauling-out area of harbor seals; and to provide for scientific research and wildlife-oriented public education and interpretation".

The effects of years of human use are still evident on Protection Island in roads that scar the land, invasive species that compete for key nutrients, and dilapidated structures no longer in use. The current management practices work to reverse these depredations through removal of unused roads and structures, invasive species management, and an increased effort to restore healthy habitats to encourage native plant diversity. Additionally, the Refuge is managed to decrease the ongoing impingement of human activities including efforts to reduce the risk of oil spills, clean up marine debris, and educate boaters about minimizing human-caused wildlife disturbance. The health of the island’s wildlife populations and the effects management activities have on those populations is continuously monitored through periodic surveys.



Protection Island Refuge is located at the mouth of Discovery Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The island is closed to the public to protect nesting seabirds and harbor seals. Private boat tours around the island are available from nearby marinas.

Additional Information