It is situated on the Fraser River Estuary, just west of the South Arms Marshes Wildlife Management Area. It is made up of salt water mudflats; upland fields; and fresh water, brakish, and salt marshes.
The possibility of a sanctuary was spearheaded by such men as Fred Auger and Bary Leach. They and others working on the project discovered that the best place to have its location was farmland owned by George H. Reiffel.
This land had been originally purchased by this man’s father, George C. Reifel, in 1927. The original owner had dykes and causeways constructed to create waterfowl habitats and road access connecting his land (“Reifel Island”) to the rest of Westham Island.
The Reifel Family cooperated with the planners. With the assistance of financiers and Ducks Unlimited, the sanctuary came into existence in 1963, and was named after the original owner.
In 1972, the Reifel Family provided more of their farm for the sanctuary. Today, it covers 344 hectares (850 acres) of managed habitat and estuarine marsh.
See map of the area.
We would like to thank Varri Johnson, George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, for providing information for this page.