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Grand Bay
National Wildlife Refuge

6005 Bayou Heron Road
Moss Point, MS   39562
E-mail: MississippiSandhillCrane@fws.gov
Phone Number: 228-475-0765
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Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Grand Bay NWR is one of over 540 National Wildlife Refuges managed as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Grand Bay NWR was established in 1992 under the Emergency Wetlands Resources act of 1986 to protect one of the largest expanses of undisturbed pine savanna habitats in the Gulf Coastal Plain region. The refuge is located in Mobile County, Alabama and Jackson, County Mississippi, and when complete will encompass over 32,000 acres. The refuge is part of the Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Refuge Complex Manager also administers the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Access to refuge lands (especially interior portions) is limited, but is available mostly on the Mississippi side and by boat.

Getting There . . .
Grand bay NWR is located approximately 7 miles east of Pascagoula, Mississippi and approximately 20 miles west of Mobile, Alabama. From Interstate 10, take the Franklin Creek exit (exit 75) and head south to US Highway 90. Cross US 90 onto Pecan Road and go approximately 1 mile to a very active railroad crossing, this is Bayou Heron Road. Cross over railroad track and keep to your right. The office is approximately 1 mile from railroad crossing.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The largest portion of the refuge consist of a mosaic of pine savannas, interspersed with poorly drained evergreen bays and pond cypress stands graduating to estuarine salt marshes to the south.

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Management Activities
Managers use prescribed fire as the primary management tool on the refuge to ensure a healthy ecosystem. The prescribed fire program is used to mimic the natural fires that burned through the savannas every few years. Fires suppress the growth of hardwood shrubs and trees, create large open areas and clear out dead under-story plants while "recycling" nutrients. These nutrients act as fertilizer rejuvenating the wire grass and pitcher plants. Fire is essential for this habitat to remain healthy, and as large enough tracts are purchased, these areas are burned.