The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the City of Arcataís innovative wastewater treatment facility. By integrating its conventional wastewater treatment with the natural treatment processes of constructed wetlands Arcata has succeeded in turning its treated wastewater into a resource. The sanctuary includes 307 acres of freshwater marshes, salt marsh with tidal slough, grassy uplands, tidal mudflats, brackish marsh, 5.4 miles of walking and biking paths and an Interpretive Center that serve over 150.000 visitors every year.
Located at the north end of Humboldt Bay, the sanctuary is situated along the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory route for thousands of birds that breed in the far north and winter in California, Mexico, and Central and South America. These wetlands provide homes and migratory resting places for over 270 species of birds. Although birding is good year round, itís best from mid-July to early May. Songbirds are abundant from spring through fall. A variety of raptors reside or visit here seasonally. From October through April, look for waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds.
Numerous species of plants, mammals, insects, and amphibians inhabit the marsh, including Raccoons, River Otters, Gray Foxes, Bobcats, Pacific Tree Frogs, Red-legged Frogs, Rough-skinned Newts & Dragonflies.
The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary has received international recognition and numerous awards as a municipal planning design, a cost-effective public utility operation, an urban redevelopment plan, and a natural resource project.