The refuge’s most notable feature is Banks Lake, a shallow blackwater lake studded with cypress trees that supports many fish species, as well as other aquatic animals. It was formed when the Carolina bay that makes up most of the refuge was dammed over 150 years ago. The refuge contains a variety of habitat types, including approximately 676 acres of cypress swamp, 582 acres of freshwater marsh, and 634 acres of open water. Scattered through these wetland areas are scrub/shrub, evergreen forest wetlands, and mixed forest habitats. Many species of plants, fish, and wildlife are found on the refuge, including state- and federal-listed species.