Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Georgia.

Blackbeard Island was acquired by the U.S. Navy at public auction in 1800 as a source of live oak timber for shipbuilding. A Presidential Proclamation in 1940 changed its designation from Blackbeard Island Reservation to Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge. In 1975, over half of the refuge was designated as National Wilderness. The primary purpose of the refuge is to maintain and enhance habitat for migratory birds, nesting sea turtles, and other wildlife, and to preserve and protect this unique barrier island. Over half of the refuge is comprised of wetlands including both saltwater and freshwater marsh. Refuge uplands include maritime forest and miles of pristine sand beaches which attract hundreds of nesting loggerhead sea turtles every summer.  Blackbeard Island NWR is one of seven refuges administered by the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex which is headquartered at the Savannah NWR Visitor Center in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

Nearby Activities


Blackbeard Island NWR is a barrier island that is only accessible by boat.  Public transportation is not provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Visitors must use personal watercraft or a local charter service.

Additional Information

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