The refuge is located on Highway 101 near Pacific City, Oregon.
Nestucca Bay Refuge was established in 1991 with the acquisition of short grass pastures to provide wintering habitat for dusky and Aleutian Canada geese. The Nestucca Bay area supports approximately 10 percent of the world population of dusky Canada geese, and 100 percent of a very unique subpopulation of Aleutian Canada geese. It is also an important rest stop for migrating shorebirds and other waterfowl and is used by peregrine falcons and the bald eagle–listed as threatened. The Nestucca Bay and River system supports large runs of native fish species including cutthroat trout, steelhead, and Chinook and Coho salmon. In addition to managed pastures, other refuge habitats include wooded uplands, riparian wetlands, salt marsh, and open meadows. These habitats provide safe haven for waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, songbirds, mammals, and amphibians. The Neskowin Marsh Unit of this refuge is the southernmost coastal sphagnum bog habitat on the Pacific Coast. It is a rare and outstanding ecosystem with exceptional biological value. In addition to bird and mammal species, the sphagnum bog is home to many unusual and beautiful plant species such as the carnivorous Sundew and a native bog cranberry.