Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Refuge Quick Facts

Jane Griess - Project Leader
Randy Breland - Refuge Manager
Phone: (843) 784-6751
Fax: (843) 784-6758

  • Established 1927
  • Current refuge acreage = 14,163 acres in Georgia; 15,011 acres in South Carolina
  • Refuge is located in Chatham and Effingham Counties, GA and Jasper County, SC. The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive is located on SC 170, six miles south of Hardeeville, SC via US 17 (Exit 5 off I-95); or one mile north of Port Wentworth, GA on GA 25. SC 170 (take I-95, GA Exit 109 to GA 21 South, then east on GA 30 to GA 25 North.)
  • There are 38 miles of river and over 25 miles of streams and creeks within the refuge boundaries.
  • Refuge habitats include bottomland hardwoods, palustrine, estuarine and tidal(eight-foot amplitude) freshwater wetlands.  Managed freshwater impoundments (pools) make up about 3,000 acres.
  • The refuge is home to a large variety of wildlife including:  ducks, geese, wading birds, shorebirds, American alligators, and several endangered and/or threatened species including bald eagles, wood storks, manatees and shortnose sturgeon.  The refuge also provides nesting areas for wood ducks, great horned owls, bald eagles, osprey and swallow-tailed kites among others.

Financial Impact of Refuge

  • Savannah NWR is a part of a seven refuge complex that has an annual budget of $3,434,000 (FY 2006) and a combined staff of 33, nine of which are assigned to this refuge.
  • 130,000 visitors annually

Refuge Objectives

  • To utilize refuge property as "a refuge and breeding ground for native birds and wild animals"
  • To provide habitat and protection for those species of plants and animals whose survival is threatened or endangered.
  • To provide habitat and sanctuary for migratory birds consistent with the objectives of the Atlantic Flyway.
  • To maintain and enhance as needed the habitats of all other species of indigenous wildlife and fishery resources.

Management Tools

  • Water level management on 3,000 acres for the benefit of waterfowl, wading birds, wood storks, swallow tailed kites and shorebirds.
  • Prescribed fire
  • Mechanical/chemical treatment of undesirable and/or noxious plants.
  • Deer and feral hog management with public hunting.
  • Education/Interpretation.
  • Law enforcement.

Public Use Opportunities

  • Wildlife observation and photography
  • Interpretation
  • Hiking and bicycling
  • Fishing and hunting (deer, turkey, feral hog and squirrel)
  • Thirty-six miles of dikes are open seasonally to foot traffic.
  • The four-mile Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive is open to vehicular traffic throughout the year.


Last updated: April 17, 2009