Elk River Natural Resources Conservation Area

view of estuarine system
Totaling 5,560 acres, this area is the largest, highest quality estuarine system remaining in Washington or Oregon. Elk River Natural Resources Conservation Area includes diverse habitats, ranging from tide flats and sloughs, saltmarsh and freshwater wetlands, to forested uplands.  As part of the Pacific Flyway, the Elk River estuary is an important spring and fall stopover area for shorebirds and waterfowl, such as the common loon, tundra swan, and various species of ducks, plovers, and sandpipers, supporting up to 1 million shorebirds annually. The NRCA also includes a nesting site for bald eagle and significant habitat for elk, bear, beaver, river otter and other mammals.
Features Protected: Five salt-marsh ecosystem types and associated plant communities, bald eagle, intertidal mudflats, migratory shorebird and waterfowl habitat
Ecoregion: Northwest Coast  (Grays Harbor County) 

Science, Research and Monitoringbright pink flowers a bloom

Public and private universities, other research institutions and individual researchers may contact DNR to propose a research project at the site. If you are interested in pursuing research at Elk River NRCA, please contact David Wilderman, natural areas ecologist, at david.wilderman@dnr.wa.gov.  

Environmental Education and Public Access 

Currently no formal educational programs are available at Elk River NRCA. The site is accessible by small watercraft at higher tides, however access facilities are not currently available. For more information, contact the DNR Pacific Cascade Region natural areas manager.