The southern estuary of the Eel River in Humboldt County contains a diverse array of habitats and a magnificent arena of life. This 1,100 acre property includes: tidal wetlands, fresh water marsh, sand dunes, grass lands, beach frontage and a spectacular half moon bay on the Eel River. Wildlife includes: river otters, harbor seals, tundra swans, bald eagles, egrets, herons, salmon and steel head trout. The grasslands on the property are a winter refuge for tens of thousands of Aleutian Geese. These geese were once headed toward extinction when the fur industry introduced foxes to the Aleutian Islands that preyed upon the geese. The practice has since ceased aiding the geese's recovery.

The southern estuary was identified in 1974 as the California Department of Fish and Game's top acquisition priority for the Eel River. The Wildlands Conservancy bought the property in 2008 and is planning public access and extensive wetlands restoration through the California Coastal Commission permit process. We envision building a ranger station and parking lot in the uplands and hiking and biking trails for wildlife viewing and remote beach access. There will also be a future put in area for kayaks to access the property's elaborate slough network that leads to the ocean through the estuary.


Visitor facilities for the Eel River Estuary Preserve are currently in a multi-year permitting process. For additional information contact our North Coast Preserve Manager at (707) 672-4725.