|Oregon Coast Notes|
|Bandon Marsh - an Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge|
Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest remaining tidal salt marsh within the Coquille River estuary.
Located near the mouth of the Coquille River, it is an oasis for migrating shorebirds, waterfowl, coho salmon, and threatened and endangered species including Bald Eagle and California Brown Pelican.
The refuge encompasses 889 acres and is composed of two units: Bandon Marsh and Ni-les'tun. Salt marsh restoration projects (schedule for 2010) on the Ni-les'tun Unit will benefit fish and wildlife species and protect cultural resources.
Bandon Marsh Unit
The expansive mudflats at the Bandon Marsh Unit are teeming with a motley assortment of clams, crabs, worms, and shrimp, which provide a nourishing meal for migrating shorebirds. The refuge is renowned for its excellent shorebird viewing opportunities. Birdwatchers visiting in the spring or fall can expect to see thousands of Western and Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Black-bellied Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Red Phalarope, Whimbrel, Dunlin and those rarities like Ruff.
Waterfowl, herons and falcons can also be viewed from the Bandon Marsh observation deck located on the west side of Riverside Drive. Other public use opportunities include environmental education, photography, and clamming. The viewing area includes an accessible elevated viewing platform, a small parking area, and stairs leading to the mudflats. The marsh and observation deck are open daily from sunrise to sunset.
This Unit was established to protect and restore intertidal marsh, freshwater marsh and riparian areas that are habitat for migratory birds and anadromous fish (e.g., salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout).
An overlook area is underlain by a historic Coquille (Ko-kwell) Indian campsite. The Coquille Indian Tribe and students of Southern Oregon University archeologically investigated the site and now the 4,500-year-old site is protected.
The Refuge is planning a marsh restoration for this unit where an influx of saltwater and freshwater will allow re-establishment of mudflats and marsh plants, and interconnecting tidal channels will bisect the wildlife habitat south of the overlook deck. As the land returns to a rich functioning intertidal marsh, flocks of seasonally driven migratory birds and young fish will use the restored habitat.
The Ni-les’tun Unit Overlook is provided to give visitors the opportunity to view wildlife and changes in the habitat as the area is restored to intertidal marsh.
Be sure to check out our Wildlife Maps on Our Oregon Coast Maps page