Refuge Quick Facts
Jane Griess - Project Leader
Shaw Davis - Deputy Project Leader
Scott Gilje - Refuge Operations Specialist
- Established: 1924 as a bird refuge and as an experiment station for the acclimatization of certain foreign game birds.
- Acres: 5,618 (1,163 freshwater impoundments/marsh; 2,000 saltwater marsh; 2,115 pine and oak forests; and 340 sand beach).
- Location: McIntosh County, Georgia, five miles north of Eulonia, GA, then six miles east on Harris Neck Road, then 18 miles southeast by boat.
- Federal ownership since 1800, first by Department of Navy, then Fish and Wildlife Service
- 1880-1910: served as South Atlantic Quarantine Station.
- Established as a wildlife preserve in 1924 and formally a national wildlife refuge in 1940.
- Wilderness area consisting of 3,000 acres designated in 1975.
- Notable concentrations of waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, songbirds, raptors, deer and alligators.
Financial Impact of the Refuge
- Over 11,000 visitors annually.
- Blackbeard Island NWR is part of a seven-refuge complex that has an annual budget of $3,434,000 (FY 2006) and a combined staff of 29, two of which are assigned to this refuge part-time.
- Provide wintering habitat and protection for migratory birds.
- Provide protection and habitat to promote resident and migratory wildlife diversity.
- Provide protection and management for endangered and threatened plant and animal species (loggerhead sea turtle, American bald eagle, American alligator, wood stork, piping plover).
- Provide environmental education, interpretation and recreational opportunities to the visiting public.
- Water level management for waterfowl, shorebirds, wood storks and wading birds.
- Prescribed fire.
- Mechanical/chemical control of noxious plants.
- Public hunting for deer population management.
- Law enforcement.
Public Use Opportunities
- Wildlife observation and photography
- Environmental education/interpretation
- Sea kayaking
- Daytime beach use