December 19th, 2022

Friends of Seal Beach NWR earn NWRA Friends Group of the Year Award

The National Wildlife Refuge Association has named its Wildlife Refuge Award winners for 2022.

The awards, given annually by the Refuge Association, recognize U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees, Friends and volunteers for their outstanding contributions to conserving public lands and waters in the National Wildlife Refuge System. One of the winners are our Friends at Seal Beach NWR:

Molly Krival Refuge Friends Group of the Year

Three women stand at a blue-tented booth ready to engage visitors. The blue bunting on the booth has the words "Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge" on it.
The Friends of Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge in California.

Friends of Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge earn NWRA Friends Group of the Year Award


Volunteers make the world work….better. Thanks to the Friends of Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge (Friends) in Southern California, more people are learning about the refuge and why it’s so vital to its nearby communities. This group’s countless hours of service and its long-term commitment to nature and conservation earned the Friends the National Wildlife Refuge Association’s 2022 Molly Krival— Refuge Friends Group of the Year Award.

This award recognizes the outstanding contributions by the groups of dedicated volunteers in Friends organizations who provide essential services to the Refuge System. This award is named to honor the late Molly Krival, a pioneer in the Refuge Friends movement throughout the Refuge System. The Wildlife Refuge Awards dinner will take place on Wednesday, September 14 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC at 6 p.m. Media is welcome to attend and cover the program.

“When engaging with the community one can always hear members of the Friends group talking passionately about this refuge and what a unique place it is for our urban area,” said Carolyn Vance, Friends of Seal Beach NWR President. ”Through the long-term commitment of our volunteers, we have also stepped in to ensure continuity when gaps in refuge staffing have occurred.”


  • Over the past few years, the Friends set up a booth at more than 25 events, many of which were in communities not visited before. This effort resulted in contacting over 7,500 people in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

  • The Friends develop connections with various groups throughout the community such as the El Dorado Chapter of the National Audubon Society which is a frequent source for new volunteers, and the Seal Beach Fishing Derby sponsored by the Los Alamitos/Seal Beach Rotary Club.

  • The group submits a series of articles about the Refuge in the local Seal Beach Sun newspaper guest column as a voice and advocate to increase awareness.

See the rest of the award winners here.

August 28th, 2022

Tijuana Estuary Tidal Restoration Program II Phase I

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Parks and Recreation have announced the opening of a comment period and virtual meetings on a draft environmental impact statement/environmental impact report proposing to restore up to 87 acres of coastal wetlands in the Tijuana Estuary, benefitting migratory birds, fish and other aquatic resources.
To review the documents and submit your comments before the October 3rd deadline, please visit:
Comments are due. by October 3rd, 2022.
Tijuana Estuary Tidal Restoration Program II Phase I | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

August 28th, 2022

National Public Lands Day, Tijuana Estuary

Come to the Tijuana River Estuarine Research Reserve Visitor Center to participate in National Public Lands Day. Learn how to identify plants and animals by using the iNaturalist app, play nature bingo, chat with our rangers, and get free swag!


A free, guided nature walk will also be happening starting at the visitor center from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. All ages are welcomed and no reservations are required.
Saturday, September 24, 2022. 9 am to 1 pm
Tijuana Estuary, 301 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach, CA  91932

May 29th, 2022

Empowering San Diego Urban Youth Through the Healing Power of Nature

Large group of individuals standing on a fishing dock with the words "Seaforth Landing" behind.

In the early morning chill before sunrise, a group of 13 Black youth and their families excitedly huddled together at the Seaforth Landing dock in Mission Bay, San Diego. They stepped aboard the New Seaforth, a fishing charter that would take them to their first deep-sea fishing adventure since last summer. For the members of the Blue Heart Foundation, a nonprofit organization that mentors and supports underserved Black males between the ages of 13 and 18, this early April trip would also be one of their first trips together since the recent passing of Tracy Morris, the founder and executive director of the Blue Heart Foundation.

January 5th, 2022

Light-footed Ridgway’s rail

There are so many bird species in San Diego County that we would love to highlight for National Bird Day but one that is particularly special to us is the light-footed Ridgway’s rail. The Federally endangered hen-sized marsh bird lives on salt marsh and brackish marsh habitats like the ones found within San Diego Refuges. In fact, these refuges were established to primarily conserve fish and wildlife which are Federally-listed as endangered or threatened species.
You can help us continue to protect this and other threatened or endangered species by simply staying on established trails to prevent trampling plants which causes habitat or nest losses.

Photo of light-footed Ridgway’s rail extending its wings (Andrew Fisher/USFWS).

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