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Guided paddling tours of two coastal National Wildlife Refuges will be on offer free of charge throughout June and August courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

These roughly two-hour trips will take paddlers in to the heart of the Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge near Lincoln City and the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge near Pacific City, with interpreters on hand to provide information about wildlife and natural history.

The Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge outing treats paddlers to beautiful vistas and estuarine wildlife. From the Little Nestucca River to the bay, expansive mudflats surrounding the refuge’s Two Rivers Peninsula offer plenty to see from the water.

At Siletz Bay, just south of Lincoln City, paddlers loop around the refuge, through tidal marsh, riparian forest and along the Siletz River. Both paddles provide opportunities to view wildlife like bald eagles, kingfisher, songbirds, harbor seals and more.

Registration is required and participants must supply their own boat. During the summer, unpredictable winds and waves are common. For this reason, the trip is not recommended for beginners. Wearing a personal flotation device is mandatory. Binoculars and field guides are available to borrow on request.

For more information or to register for a trip, contact Lila Bowen at Lilamarie_Bowen@fws.gov or 541-867-4550. Include your preferred date, the number of boats in your party and contact information.

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