The Delkatla Wildlife Sanctuary is a 290-Hectare intertidal wetland situated within the Village of Masset, on the north coast of the Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands. It is on the Pacific Flyway and lies adjacent to Dixon Entrance and Masset Inlet. Because of its proximity to the wild offshore waters of the Pacific Ocean it is a critical land-point for birds blown off-course by the raging storms which sweep through and around Haida Gwaii.
Delkatla is a critical migratory stopover for birds during spring and fall migration, an important wintering waterfowl area and home to many summer nesting species. The first Wood Sandpiper for Canada was found in Delkatla and the first Canadian sightings of Aleutian Tern and Red-faced Cormorant were discovered in nearby Masset Inlet. Over 150 species of birds have been seen there.
Because of its unique situation it is a destination area for national and international birders and Heritage tourists. It is the only Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Haida Gwaii and in the Skeena Region.
In l964 a causeway was built across the entrance to the Sanctuary, blocking tidal access. The mud-flats and grassy meadows suffocated under a cloak of Juncus effucus, an invasive freshwater plant. Sitka Spruce and Red Alder also colonised the mudflats and obliterated the rich feeding areas for shorebirds and waterfowl.
In l995, thirty years later, after a major fundraising effort to raise $1 million, tidal access was restored to the Sanctuary. The area is presently being restored as a coastal intertidal wetland.