Welcome to Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
|Tour Bulls Island With Patrick McMillan - Benefit for Loggerhead Turtle Program, May 26, 2013
On Sunday, May 26, enjoy a rare opportunity to experience Bulls Island with Dr. Patrick McMillan, South Carolina's premier biologist/naturalist. Two tours will be leaving from Garris Landing, Cape Romain NWR, Awendaw. The first departure is scheduled for 10am. A picnic lunch will be served on the island. The tour is $75 per person. All proceeds go to the SEWEE Association to benefit the Loggerhead Sea Turtle project at Cape Romain. Space is limited so register early! Contact Coastal Expeditions at 843.884.7684 or firstname.lastname@example.org for registration and tour details.
|Patrick McMillan interprets wildlife ecology on Bulls. Credit: USFWS|
|Become a SEANET Volunteer! Conduct Bird Monitoring on Island Beaches. Workshop June 13, 2013 - 6:30pm.
The SEANET (Seabird Ecological Assessment Network) is expanding its program and you can help by joining SEANET and walking a segment of South Carolina's beaches of your choosing once or twice a month collecting data on environmental conditions, beach debris and both dead and live bird sightings. Reports submitted by SEANET volunteers are vital to this effort. No scientific background or special training is required, just a desire to help SC's marine ecosystems. Join SEANET project coordinator Dr. Sarah Courchesne to hear about the program and how you can become involved. The workshop will be held at the Sewee Visitor Center from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. For more information and reservations, call 843.727.4707 ext 214 or 843.727.4707 ext. 304. RSVP by June 5th.
|Monitoring seabirds on a SC beach. Credit: USFWS|
|Red Wolves at Home at the Sewee Center!
Two four-year old sibling Red wolves have found a home at the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center. Amid much excitement, the sisters arrived at the Center November 1st. Growing up at the Salisbury Zoological Park, MD, the endangered wolves don't shy away from admiring viewers. With a population of approximately 300, the Red wolf is one of the most endangered animals in the world today.
|Red wolf sisters.
Credit: Salisbury Zoological Park
|American Oystercatcher eating an
oyster. Credit: Felicia Sanders©
Established in 1932 as a migratory bird refuge, Cape Romain NWR encompasses a 22-mile segment of the southeast Atlantic coast. The refuge consists of 66, 287 acres which include a fascinating expanse of barrier islands, salt marshes, intricate coastal waterways, long sandy beaches, fresh and brackish water impoundments, and maritime forest. Points of interest include Bulls Island, Cape Island, and Lighthouse Island where two lighthouses, no longer operational, still stand.
The refuge's original objectives were to preserve in public ownership habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and resident species. In recent years, objectives have expanded to include: managing endangered species, protecting the 29,000 acre Class I Wilderness Area, and preserving the Bulls Island and Cape Island forests and their diverse plant communities. Currently, the refuge is actively working to aid the recovery of the threatened loggerhead sea turtle.
|Loggerhead hatchling. Credit: Rebecca Gallagher©|
Getting to Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
The Refuge Headquarters and Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center, located 20 miles north of Charleston on US Highway 17, and Garris Landing (public boat landing) are the only mainland sites. As Cape Romain is a barrier island refuge, the remainder of the refuge is accessible only by boat. There is a public dock on the leeward side of Bulls Island suitable for craft 12 – 17 feet in length. The dock is first-come, first-serve. Large boats often anchor in Price’s Inlet, an inlet south of Bulls Island that separates Bulls Island and a state-owned island called Capers Island. Access to other refuge islands requires “beaching” of private boats. To provide public accessibility, the refuge contracts with a private company, Coastal Expeditions, Inc. to transport passengers from Garris Landing to Bulls Island (and other refuge islands according to demand).
|Painted Bunting. Credit:
|Great Egret. Credit:
|Red Wolf. Credit:
Coastal Expeditions - Ferry Service
Coastal Expeditions, the exclusive concessionaire of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, is a reputable guide service and outfitter in the Charleston area. In addition to providing ferry service to Bulls Island throughout the year, the concession promotes conservation and environmental education through interpretive talks and programs. Contact Coastal Expeditions for more information on their ferry schedule and other services such as guided kayak outings.
SEWEE Association Friends Group
The South Eastern Wildlife and Environment Education (SEWEE) Association, Inc., is a Friends Group formed in 1996 to support the missions of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and the Francis Marion National Forest. The Association recently partnered with the Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin and Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuges. Learn more about the SEWEE Association and how it is helping the South Carolina Lowcountry Refuges Complex.
South Carolina Lowcountry Refuges Complex - News from "Life in the Wild"
The South Carolina Lowcountry Refuges Complex is home to four national wildlife refuges - Cape Romain, Waccamaw, Santee and Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin Refuges. With over 115,240 acres, these unique public lands encompass pristine barrier island beaches, rich salt marsh estuary and riverine ecosystems, and forested freshwater wetlands. Learn about how we manage these special areas for wildlife and people in our Life in the Wild Newsletters. Our latest edition, Volume 5, highlights cultural landmarks and historic artifacts found within the refuges natural landscapes that span a period of more than two hundred years. At Santee, a high earthern mound gives testiment to a native people and a nation's revolution.On Cape Romain's islands, a wind-powered saw mill contributed to our young nation's economy and two lighthouses served as sentinels for sea-going mariners. Amid the wetlands landscape at the ACE Basin, on the island of Jehossee lie the remnants of a rice plantation that thrived during the antebellum period in the lowcountry. Historic artifacts found at Waccamaw's Yauhannah Bluff tell the stories of how those that came before us have shaped our environment today. Our cultural treasures provide windows into the past connecting us with the unique heritage and evolving landscapes of the lowcountry. View the newsletter and earlier editions by clicking on the links below.
BULLS ISLAND WEEKEND ECO-EXPEDITIONS
For the first time in 43 years, the Dominick House on Cape Romain's Bulls Island is once again receiving overnight guests. Hosted by Coastal Expeditions, refuge concession, the three day/two night weekend ecology trip has a focus on barrier island dynamics, the connections of human and natural history, and invasive species. A myriad of island wildlife and plants will be studied as guests explore the salt marsh, maritime forest and beach. Expeditions will be offered on the third weekend of October through May, with the first trip scheduled for October 19th - 21st.
In 1936, Mr. Gayer Dominick of New York conveyed Bulls Island to the Cape Romain NWR. Historically, from 1940 - 1969, the refuge awarded contracts to concessionaires who offered Bulls Island visitors lodging and meals at the Dominick House. During those 29 years, five concessionaires lived on the island with their families, providing quality services for those who came to the island to birdwatch, fish, photograph wildlife, beachcomb and archery hunt. Guests came from across the United States, Canada, and other countries including Finland, England, Germany, France, Sweden and South Africa. For more information and to register for an expedition, contact Coastal Expeditions at 843.884.7684 or visit Coastal Expeditions.
|Dominick House. Credit: Weatherly Meadors|