US Navy Munitions History and Cleanup Mare Island

Naval Ammunition Depot


While there is no “official” Navy website to our knowledge devoted specifically to the history and environmental cleanup of the former Mare island Naval Ammunition Depot, we have provided links to specific documents prepared by the Navy and many of the historic photos are “official Navy” photos now stored in the National Archives, Pacific Region.

In the 155th year since the founding of the Ammunition Depot, the Navy’s first in the west, we find ourselves at home on a portion of the Depot. Reminders of this land’s purpose are all around us as plenty of environmental work is still being conducted by the Navy on future portions of our Preserve.

You will find that our visitors center located in a 1934 bomb storage magazine has changed very little since it was built. The paved road of the 1.3 mile Scenic Vista Trail to the Mare Island Hill and beyond, is a road (portions of which were built by WPA crews) upon which trucks moved ammunition to bunkers built into the hills. Over 200 acres of the former Ammo Depot, along with the Navy’s oldest cemetery in the Pacific are open to the public every weekend to hike, bike, explore and learn thanks to our all volunteer team at the Mare Island Heritage Trust.

The history and cleanup of the Ammunition Depot on which the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve is located

The US Navy’s oldest Ammunition Depot in the Pacific is located on Mare Island in Vallejo, California. Founded by Commander David Farragut, later the Navy’s first Admiral, in 1857, the Depot was active through 1975 and is part of the April 1,1996 BRAC base closure. Environmental cleanup of the Ammunition Depot is ongoing. I’m a volunteer for the environmental cleanup and land manager of the Preserve.