Here, freshwater sloughs wind through salt marshes and rare, native bluestem prairie graces the upland areas. For wildlife, the expanse of salt and freshwater marshes, sloughs, ponds, woody thickets and coastal prairies provide a place to rest, nest and feed. For people, these vestiges of wild Texas offer respite from the concrete jungle, a glimpse of the landscape as it looked before human settlement.
Established to provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl and other bird species, the refuge serves as an end point for the ducks and geese migrating south along the Central Flyway for the winter. It also serves as an entry point for neotropical migratory songbirds headed north to their breeding grounds, exhausted from their 600-mile crossing of the Gulf of Mexico. More than 300 species of birds call the refuge home for all or part of the year, making it a bird-watcher’s paradise. It is because of its significance to waterfowl and migrating birds that Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and its companion refuges, San Bernard and Big Boggy, were designated an Internationally Significant Shorebird Site by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
While the refuge is managed for the benefit of wildlife, it is also here for you. The 44,413-acre Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is a place for people to enjoy nature and get outside. Wildlife watching, hunting, fishing, and environmental education programs are all available to the public.
Established in 1966, the refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a national network of lands and waters set aside for the benefit of wildlife and you.
Plan Your Visit:
Refuge Headquarters & Discovery Center:
The Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Texas Mid-coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes Brazoria, San Bernard and Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuges.
The Refuge Headquarters, located off of FM 2004, is where the business of the refuge is conducted. Refuge brochures and information, as well as access to the Otter Slough boardwalk, are available at the headquarters.
The Discovery Center, home for the Discovery Environmental Education Program, is located within the refuge’s Big Slough Recreation Area. This is where you can pick up helpful information on all of three refuges, including maps, brochures and details on where wildlife is being seen. This is also where you can learn more about the habitat found on the Brazoria Refuge. Restroom facilities are available here for the public.
Enjoy the Brazoria Refuge:
The refuge is open 365 days a year during daylight hours (sunrise to sunset) and no entrance fee is required. Enjoy wildlife-related activities, including wildlife watching, hiking, hunting, fishing and wildlife photography.
Special Events and Activities:
The refuge offers many exciting special events and activities! Check out the Events Calendar for fun things to do.
Big Slough: From the intersection of Highway 288 and FM 523 in Angleton, take FM 523 to FM 2004 intersection. Continue on 523 for 5.5 miles to County Road 227. Turn left on CR 227 and proceed 1.7 miles to the refuge entrance. Big Slough Recreation Area is located at 2022 County Road 227, Freeport, Texas, 77541. It is an additional three miles beyond the entrance gate, which automatically locks at sunset.
Brazoria Refuge office: The refuge office is located five miles northeast of the intersection of FM 523 and FM 2004 on FM 2004.
The lat/long for the field office is 29°08’43.53, 95°17’31.99
The lat/long for the Big Slough Recreation Area and Discovery Center is
Page Photo Credits – Refuge wetlands / USFWS