National Wildlife Refuge System

Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge


About Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge


Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge
Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge

Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) , which includes Egg Island and Little Egg Island, was established in 1930, as a migratory bird sanctuary. It is located in McIntosh County , Georgia , 12 miles (by boat) east of Darien, shown in green in the map to the right. The refuge consists of a long narrow strip of oceanfront beach backed by a broad band of salt marsh. Over 75% of the refuge’s 5,126 acres are composed of saltwater marshes. These islands provide a place for wild birds to nest and raise their young. Endangered or threatened species that use the refuge include the piping plover, loggerhead sea turtle, American alligator, Florida manatee, and wood stork. Other wildlife, including the diamondback terrapin and brown pelican, use the area. The shallow bay waters around the islands provide excellent habitat for many species of fish.


Refuge area and Class I Designation

  • In 1975, Wolf Island was designated a National Wilderness Area, declaring that the area should remain undeveloped and "unimpaired" for future generations.
  • In 1977, Congress acknowledged the uniqueness of the Wolf Island Wilderness Area by designating it as a Class I air quality area. As a wilderness area it is afforded special protection under the Clean Air Act.
  • Congress gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), as the Federal Land Manager of the Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge, the responsibility to protect the air quality and natural resources, including visibility, of the area from man-made air pollution. Despite this protection, many sources of man-made air pollution affect Wolf Island NWR including on-shore industry, power plants, motor vehicle emissions, and marine traffic.
  • If the Wolf Island Wilderness Area is not protected, unique wildlife and scenic values will be threatened or even lost. The FWS hopes to preserve and protect these special wilderness islands for future generations.


Learn more about air quality at Wolf Island NWR


As in most of the eastern U.S., visibility in Wolf Island NWR is affected by pollution-caused regional haze. FWS, in partnership with three programs, monitors visibility and mercury conditions at Okefenokee NWR and analyzes atmospheric pollutants at Sapelo Island, which are representative of Wolf Island air quality because of the close proximity of the two areas. FWS, measures fine airborne particles responsible for visibility impairment, in partnership with the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program. FWS analyzes mercury in rain, in partnership with the Mercury Deposition Network (MDN). FWS analyzes atmospheric pollutants in rain as part of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program at Sapelo Island, north of Wolf Island within the Southeast Coastal Region of Georgia. Within this website are the resources to discover why air pollution poses a threat to Wolf Island NWR and what the FWS is doing to prevent the deterioration of air quality in this pristine area.

  • Learn the basics of air quality - Air Quality
  • Understand what are the air quality related values - AQRV
  • Learn about how air quality can affect natural and scenic resources - Impacts
  • Find real time monitoring data and studies being performed at the refuge - Studies & Monitoring



Additional Information:
Regional Air Quality Information (as provided by NPS)
Wolf Island NWR Website
Wolf Island WA 300km Radius Map (PDF 722KB)

Last updated: March 21, 2013