HISTORY: Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

S.C. Encyclopedia  |   Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1932 as a wintering ground for migratory waterfowl. Located in Charleston County and stretching for twenty-two miles along the coast between Charleston and the Santee River delta, Cape Romain is a rich natural resource. In its shallow bays, tides combine the life-giving nourishment of the ocean with the nutrient-laden freshwaters of rivers to make one of the most productive environments on earth. Plants and animals from the land, rivers, and ocean are all present at Cape Romain, and all are dependent on the delicate balance of the marshlands.

In support of wildlife’s battle for survival, refuge administrators have employed wildlife management techniques that include relocation of threatened loggerhead sea turtle eggs, a red wolf breeding program on Bulls Island, and management of artificial ponds for waterfowl, wading birds, and alligators. Cape Romain Refuge is host to 335 bird species, 12 types of amphibians, 24 reptile species, and 36 varieties of mammals.

The refuge is open sunrise to sunset, seven days a week, year-round. The only facilities accessible by automobile are the refuge office, Sewee Visitor Center, and Garris Landing. Bulls Island lies nearly three miles off the mainland and is reached by boat or private ferry. Public use opportunities include an observation/fishing pier at Garris Landing and Sewee Visitor Center on the mainland. On Bulls Island there are eighteen miles of trails and roads to hike, a seven mile stretch of beach, picnic tables, a weather shelter, and an observation platform. Saltwater fishing is permitted, and limited hunting is offered. Interpretive exhibits and literature can be found at the Sewee Visitor Center.

Excerpted from an entry by Larry Davis.   To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia, published in 2006 by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)


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