Copalis National Wildlife Refuge

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Copalis National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Copalis National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Copalis National Wildlife Refuge
Location Grays Harbor County, Washington
Nearest city Aberdeen
Coordinates 47°23′59″N 124°19′50″W / 47.3998039°N 124.3304646°W / 47.3998039; -124.3304646Coordinates: 47°23′59″N 124°19′50″W / 47.3998039°N 124.3304646°W / 47.3998039; -124.3304646[1]
Area 60.8 acres (24.6 ha)[2]
Established 1907 (1907)
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Map of the refuge
Copalis Rock near the south end of the refuge, seen from nearby Roosevelt Beach (2013)

Copalis National Wildlife Refuge is the southernmost of the three refuges (along with Flattery Rocks and Quillayute Needles) which make up the Washington Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Complex, a group of 870 islands, rocks, and reefs extending for more than 100 miles along Washington's coast from Cape Flattery to Copalis Beach. These islands are protected from human disturbance, yet are close to abundant ocean food sources.

They are a vital sanctuary where 14 species of seabirds nest and raise their young. During migration the total populations of seabirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds may exceed a million birds. Sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and whales may also be seen around the islands.

The refuge was originally created as Copalis Rock Reservation on October 23, 1907, by an executive order from Theodore Roosevelt. It encompassed the islands off the Washington coast between latitudes 47° 08′ North, and 47° 29′ North.[3] It was renamed by a presidential proclamation on July 25, 1940.[4]

The refuge is within the boundary of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and is also incorporated into the Washington Islands Wilderness. The three agencies cooperate on research programs and other issues that may have impacts on the resources.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.