Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge serves as an important link in the chain of barrier islands that lie along the Atlantic Flyway, providing excellent habitat for a variety of migratory birds. With little development and few management practices, the 10,053-acre refuge is one of the most pristine on the entire eastern seaboard.
Upcoming Temporary Refuge Closure for Annual Primitive Weapons Hunt

Please be advised that Wassaw NWR will be closed to the general public on October 20, 21 & 22, 2022 for the first of two annual hunts.  The refuge will be close at sunset on Wednesday, October 19 and will remain closed until sunrise on Sunday, October 23.  During the hunt, only hunters with proper state licenses and refuge hunt permits will be allowed entry. 

Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of opportunities to explore and enjoy the great outdoors from sunrise to sunset every day. You can play in the surf, observe and photograph wildlife, go fishing, or during the season, hunt white-tailed deer. There are also miles of wooded trails perfect for hiking and bicycling.

Location and Contact Information

      Please Leave Your Dog At Home

      The "no dogs" policy at Wassaw NWR is in place primarily to protect the declining shorebird and seabird populations that rely on the beach and other areas for survival. In addition to protecting birds and other native wildlife, this policy is also in place to protect your pup. This wild barrier island is full of hidden dangers big (American alligators) and small (LOTS of ticks!). So please, while visiting this special place, be sure to do your part to protect wildlife, your pet, and your wallet (violators of this regulation will be ticketed and fined) by leaving all pets at home.

      What We Do

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System . It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

      Learn more about national wildlife refuge
      is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species. 

      Our Species

      Wassaw NWR supports a wide diversity of wildlife, including at least 257 species of breeding and wintering birds and an undetermined number of mammal, reptile, amphibian, and fish species. The refuge is within the range of several listed threatened or endangered wildlife species.

      Projects and Research

      The seven miles of undeveloped beach at Wassaw NWR provide important nesting habitat for Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles. Since 1973, the Caretta Research Project (CRP) has been monitoring and protecting the nests of these important and endangered animals.