About the Refuge

Hawkes Marsh in Spring
Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a study in transition. Here, the waterlogged wet pine savannas give way to the marshes, freshwater streams, and bayous of the Escatawpa River system. Slowly these fresh water systems system wind their way toward the Mississippi Sound and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. Neither fresh nor salt, the brackish waters and marshes found throughout much of the refuge serve as a home and nursery to numerous different fish, fowl, and flora.

Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located in coastal Mississippi and Alabama. The refuge was established in 1992 to help protect one of the largest remaining expanses of Gulf Coast wet pine savanna habitat. With only 3% of wet pine savanna remaining across its originally range, it is considered an endangered habitat.

The 10,188 acre refuge partially overlays the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Together, they protect nearly 18,000 acres of relatively undisturbed wildlife habitat.

In addition to the wet pine savanna, other refuge habitats include maritime forest, tidal and non-tidal wetlands, salt marshes, salt pans, bays and bayous.

These numerous and varying habitats provide a unique opportunity to view the diverse numbers of species that make their home here.