The Wallkill River NWR is located in Sussex County, New Jersey and Orange County, New York. Congress established the refuge in 1990 to preserve and enhance lands and waters in a manner that conserves the natural diversity of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for present and future generations. The management emphasis is on Federally-listed endangered and threatened species, migrating waterfowl and shorebirds, nesting and wintering grassland birds, and forest-dwelling birds.
The refuge also provides opportunities for public use. There are 3 nature trails for wildlife observation, three fishing access sites on the Wallkill River and three canoe access sites. The refuge also provides hunting opportunities.
As of April 15, 2003, the refuge encompassed about 4,800 acres. Land acquisition is still proceeding. The refuge enjoys strong support from the community.
The refuge staff also manage an unstaffed satellite, the Shawangunk Grassland NWR in Ulster County, New York.