National Wildlife Refuge
|2125 Fort Watson Road
Summerton, SC 29148
Phone Number: 803-478-2217
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|Male Wood Duck - Dr. Willam Alexander|
Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Santee National Wildlife Refuge was established on May 5, 1941 to alleviate the loss of natural waterfowl and wildlife habitat caused by the construction of hydro-electric projects on the Santee and Cooper Rivers. Stretching for eighteen miles along the northern shore of Lake Marion, the refuge protects 15,095 acres within the upper coastal plain region of Clarendon County, South Carolina.
From open waters to closed hardwood canopies, from freshwater marshes to cultivated fields, from cypress swamps to upland pines, and practically everything in between Santee has them all. Since the key to wildlife diversity is habitat diversity, it's easy to understand why so many different species call this refuge home.
Unique natural and cultural resources found on the refuge include a Carolina Bay and the Santee Indian Mound which was used as both a ceremonial and burial mound. British troops erected Fort Watson atop the Mound during the Revolutionary War only to have it taken by General Francis Marion's troops in April of 1781.
Getting There . . .
The office/visitor center is located just off of U. S. Highway 301/15, seven miles south of Summerton, S. C. Visitors may take Exit 102 on Interstate 95 and follow the signs.
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The unique blend of hardwoods, pines, freshwater marshes, croplands, old fields, managed impoundments and open waters found on Santee National Wildlife Refuge provide havens for a tremendous variety of plant and animal life. Refuge staff and volunteers work throughout the year to restore and maintain these habitats to benefit wildlife.
Water levels are manipulated to ensure optimum conditions for water birds, wintering waterfowl, and many resident species. Nesting structures are provided for wood ducks and other species in areas lacking available natural cavities. Planting of supplemental crops along with periodic flooding of forested wetlands insures that adequate wildlife foods are available.
In addition to managing wetland and forested areas, prescribed burning is conducted in suitable areas to stimulate vegetative growth, create openings and maintain low fuel loads. Managed hunts are also conducted to maintain optimum population levels for designated species.
Refuge staff and volunteers continually seek to develop environmental stewards by providing interpretive and environmental education programs to school groups, other organizations and refuge visitors.