Protection Island (Washington)

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Protection Island
Protection Island (WA).jpg
LocationStrait of Juan de Fuca
United States

Protection Island is an island located in the Strait of Juan de Fuca just north of Discovery Bay in northeastern Jefferson County, Washington, United States. The island has a land area of 1.534 km2 (379.11 acres). It is a federally protected National Wildlife Refuge; boats are not permitted within 200 yards (183 m) for the safety and health of wildlife on and near the shores. There is only one individual still living on the island not associated with the government. Marty Bluewater has lifetime use of his inholding cabin on the island's southern bluffs.[1] The island also houses a caretaker, a volunteer hired by the Fish and Wildlife department to watch over the island, and take care of its many inhabitants

Birds nesting on Protection Island

Protection Island is known for its breeding colony of tufted puffin, rhinoceros auklets, and gulls, one of the few such locations south of British Columbia (though it is only a few miles from the border) to serve as a home for so many birds. It is on the flyway for many migrating birds. Seals (harbor and elephant), sea lions, orcas, and other cetaceans are often seen nearby.

Boat trips from nearby Port Townsend, Washington provide ecotourism visits for viewing wildlife from the adjacent waters.

Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to find the island. In 1790 it was given the name Isla de Carrasco, in honor of Juan Carrasco. It was given its present name by George Vancouver in 1792.[2]


  1. ^ "One man is an island". The Seattle Times. 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jim (1998). José Narváez: The Forgotten Explorer. Spokane, Washington: The Arthur H. Clark Company. p. 68. ISBN 0-87062-265-X.

Coordinates: 48°07′41″N 122°55′30″W / 48.12806°N 122.92500°W / 48.12806; -122.92500