Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges (FSCWR) is an organization of volunteers from coastal Georgia and South Carolina dedicated to preserving and protecting the seven National Wildlife Refuges in our area and the Refuge System as a whole. These refuges are managed by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which currently consists of more than 560 Refuges totaling about 150 million acres of land and water across the US, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

     Founded in 2007 and granted tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status in 2008, we are one of more than 230 Friends groups affiliated with National Wildlife Refuges.  Were are also an affiliate of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, a national group that advocates for the Refuge System.

What's New   

March 26, 2015

     The Friends annual General Membership Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 11th, from 10AM until 12:30PM at the Crosswinds Golf Club near the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
     This year, in conjunction with the meeting, we are holding our very first online/silent auction to raise money for the Kingfisher Pond Discovery Center Project.  We have some unique and interesting items donated for the auction, and all Friends members and supporters are urged to review the items, then bid early and often.  Online bidding opens at 8 AM on Friday, March 27th and closes at midnight on April 10th. Bids will then be accepted on site and by phone during the meeting.  The auction closes at noon on the 11th, and the winners will be notified that day.
     Help us make the meeting a success by attending and bidding!

March 16, 2015

     Spring is here!  What a great time to visit a National Wildlife Refuge!  Be sure to come to Savannah NWR on Saturday, March 21, for Natural Resources Discovery Day.  There will plenty of interesting activities for young and old.  Check out the FLYER and the FWS Press RELEASE for more details.
January 4, 2015

     Here's wishing a happy and prosperous New Year to all our members and readers!  Thanks to all who have already contributed to the Kingfisher Pond Discovery Center project.  If you haven't contributed yet, please consider doing so here, we still have a long way to go to reach our goal.

     Jane Griess, the Project manager (read CEO) of the Savannah Refuges Complex retired from US F&WS at the end of 2014 after 8 1/2 years leading the complex staff.  Shaw Davis will serve as Acting Project Manager while a search is undertaken for Jane's successor.

     Jane was a great supporter of the Friends and of volunteerism and will be sorely missed.  She is a Life Member of the Friends and we all hope she stays in touch.  If you would like to send jane an e-mail, send it to and we will forward it onto her.

     Jane, thanks for your aid and support over the years and Happy Retirement!!
December 18, 2014

     The Savannah NWR Visitor Center will be closed for the holidays on December 24, 25, 26, and January 1.  The VC will close at noon on December 31.  The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive will will be open dawn to dusk every day as usual.
December 1, 2014

     Anyone using Comcast as their ISP was unable to access this website over the Thanksgiving weekend. Without warning, Comcast blocked access to all web sites that use Wild Apricot (as we do), and refused to remove the block until this morning.  Everything now appears to be back to normal.  Sorry for any inconvenience.
     On a happier note, remember that Saturday, December 6, marks our annual Holiday Sale at The Gator Hole.  See "Coming Events" for details.
November 10, 2014
     Today marks the official launch of the first phase of The Kingfisher Pond Discovery Center Project.  This is our first major capital campaign and we will need support from our members and friends to make the project a reality. 

     Be sure to
read more about the project and how you can help!
November 2, 2014
     The Harris Neck land issue continues to simmer.  The US FWS has still not received a written proposal for changes to Harris Neck NWR from the Harris Neck Land Trust.  We have been keeping watch over the issue, and today published documents prepared by Friends group members that further explain the history of the area.  This information helps to dispel some of the myths currently circulating.  Check out the Harris Neck Land Issue Page.

September 14, 2014
     It's been a long hot summer, but cooler weather means it's time for National Wildlife Refuge Week!  The US FWS and the Friends are sponsoring activities on Friday October 3, Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12 to celebrate.
     On Friday October 3, Swampgirls will once again lead a fund-raising paddle down the Savannah River through parts of Savannah NWR.  This is a beautiful and rewarding trip.  Check out the FLYER for more details.
     On Saturday we will "Wander Wild at Pinckney!" with a full day of outdoor activities at Pinckney Island NWR.  Some of the activities have limited registration, so check out the ACTIVITY SCHEDULE and the FWS PRESS RELEASE to find out how to sign up.
     On Sunday the 12th, we will once again be joined by President Theodore Roosevelt (as portrayed by Joe Wiegand) as we sail up the Savannah River into the Savannah NWR aboard a Savannah Riverboat Company replica paddle boat to see parts of the refuge only seen from the water.  This three-hour cruise with commentary from "TR" is not to be missed! Click HERE for more info about the cruise and check out details under "Coming Events".
July 15, 2014

     The Friends Group wants you!  From now until August 15th we are mounting our Summer Membership Drive.  Anyone joining during the drive will receive two years of membership for the price of one year!  Or, buy a membership for yourself, and gift a Family membership for one year to the person or family of your choice!  
     You can join online , or send your check to the address listed below.  Check out this recent email for details.
July 15, 2014

     The winners of the Friends Group 2014 Photo Contest are now posted on our Flickr site.   The winners of the Youth Division are not posted, since the winning photographers have not yet sent me digital versions of their winners!  You know who you are, get those images in!  The winner of the Best in Show was Fran Baer for "Snowy Egret at Sunrise", show at left.July 15, 2014

      The Hilton Head Island-based newspaper The Island Packet, has recently developed an on-line birding guide to the best bird-watching spots in the low country.  The list includes Pinckney Island NWR and Savannah NWR.  Thanks to Friends members Susan and Kelly Murphy for the heads up about the new site.
June 27, 2014

     We don't see Cabinet-level officials at our refuges often.  Yesterday, however, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell visited the Savannah Refuges Complex to announce that the wood stork (Mycteria americana) had been down-listed from the Endangered category of the Endangered Species Act and is now considered Threatened.  While much work is yet to be done to guarantee the long-term survival of the species, this announcement reflects the dramatic comeback the wood stork has made from near extinction 30 years ago.  For more info check out this Press Release from US FWS.  Also, check out some photos on our Flickr site.
May 12, 2014
     The winners of the 2014 Friends Group Photo Contest were announced today.  For a list of the winners, click HERE.  As soon as we receive the digital copies of the winners, they will be posted on our Flickr site.  Congratulations to Fran Baer and Sean Reitnauer for being awarded "Best in Show" in the Adult and Youth Divisions respectively

Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges


To view an archive of Friends group Newsletters and Press Releases, click the icon below:

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Support the Friends!

  FSCWR receives no government funding.  Our activities are made possible by membership dues and contributions from folks like you, from sales at our book and nature store, The Gator Hole (at Savannah NWR), and from grants. 
   Please consider becoming a member or making a donation to enable us to continue our efforts in support of our refuges.  If your are a grant administrator, or know of an organization that might be interested in awarding grants to the Friends, please contact Rick Shields at

To search the Friends web site, enter the word or phrase into the Google search box, then click.

Coming Events

Friday, March 27, 2015 8:00 AM • On line
Saturday, April 11, 2015 10:00 AM • Crosswinds Golf Club, Savannah, GA

Recent Posts

Monday, November 10, 2014 8:08 PM • Rick Shields
Sunday, November 02, 2014 10:21 PM • Rick Shields
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 5:32 PM • Rick Shields
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 4:51 PM • Rick Shields
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:17 PM • Rick Shields
Friday, June 27, 2014 9:43 AM • Rick Shields
Monday, May 12, 2014 1:08 PM • Rick Shields
Monday, May 12, 2014 1:07 PM • Rick Shields

Here is a slide show of the 2013 Photo Contest Winners.


Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges, Inc.
PO Box 16841, Savannah, GA, 31416
Copyright 2015

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