Log in

Sign In Above
Donate Below

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, managed by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service,  are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which consists of 567 Refuges and 38 wetland management areas across the US, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, totaling 95 million acres of land and 740 million acres of submerged lands and waters.  It is the largest system of protected lands and waters in the world.

We formed in 2007 and granted tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status by the US Internal Revenue Service in 2008.

Beech Hill Pavilion is completed!

Thanks so much to everyone whose contributions helped make this building possible!  We have renamed the project the Beech Hill Pavilion at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge (since it was not built at Kingfisher Pond as originally planned).  

The Pavilion will be the new focus for educational activities and other events for many years to come.  We already have plans for improvements and additions to make the pavilion an even more versatile and functional resource.  Come by during normal operating hours and have a look around!

Many of us share the concern that our children are growing up estranged from the natural world. Children who grow up without love for the natural world are unlikely to be motivated to protect and defend our wilderness heritage as adults. Educating our youth and instilling in them a love for nature is part of our vision. This facility will provide a facility to allow many more children and adults to participate in educational activities.

   Read more

Pinckney Visitor Accessibility Project

The Friends group, with generous financial support from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, operates a Visitor Accessibility service on Pinckney Island NWR.  Utilizing a 15-
seat electric shuttle, bicycles, binoculars, informational brochures, and improved signage we are improving the visitor experience on this beautiful refuge for the m,any thousands who visit each year.

Read More

Coming Events

Become a Member

The Friends Group is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization.  All of our funding comes from memberships, donations, grants, and sales at our nature store, The Gator Hole, located in the Savannah NWR Visitor Center.

Please consider joining us today, or making a donation.  Your donation and membership may be tax-deductible under IRS regulations

Enjoy some images captured on our refuges.  Some of the photos were entries in our past photo contests.


The Friends is an all-volunteer organization.  Please consider giving of your time, you won't regret it.
"Work to make a living...volunteer to make a difference."

Pinckney Island Project

Docents, drivers, visitor assistants, and tour coordinators are needed for this very rewarding project.

 Read More

Beech Hill Pavilion at Savannah NWR

Once in-person activities resume we will need volunteers to help in various capacities at the Pavilion.

Contact Us

The Gator Hole

Looking for an assistant store manager and volunteers to staff the store and the information desk at Savannah NWR Visitor Center.

The Gator Hole

Board of Directors and Committees

We need to get more members involved in governance and leadership development.  Please contact us if  you have the time and desire to serve.

Contact Us

Not a member yet?

Won't you join us?  Now more than ever, with a declining  Refuge System budget and reduction in personnel, all of us need to show our support for the irreplaceable national treasure that is our refuge system.  Our refuges make up the world's largest system of protected wildlife habitat, and we must guarantee that it survives and thrives as a legacy for our children and their children.  Won't you help by joining us now?

Join Us


We are working on expanding our presence on social media platforms.  If you have an interest or a talent for facebook, Twitter, or other platforms, and are willing to help, please contact us.

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Savannah NWR is the largest of the seven Refuges that make up the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex.   The refuge was established in 1927 as a migratory bird sanctuary, and has expanded over the year to its current 31,551 acres.

Read More

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   Next >  Last >> 
  • Tuesday, April 26, 2022 10:54 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)



    Friends Event Reminder

    April 24, 2022

    The Friends 2022 General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, April 30th, starting at noon in the Beech Hill Pavilion located at the Savannah NWR Visitor Center.  All Friends members and supporters are invited to attend this very important "reboot" meeting to chart our path forward as we emerge from the pandemic shutdown.  

    We will be discussing four general areas of planning and are very interested in getting your ideas on how we can grow, what activities we should be engaged in, and how best we can fulfill our mission of supporting and advocating for our refuges.

    We will also be electing new members to our Board of Directors,  If you would like to be considered for a place on our Board, serve on a Board committee, or have projects or plans you want to add to the discussions, send an email to webmaster@coastalrefuges.org. 

    Lunch will be served and select merchandise from The Gator Hole will be available for purchase.  If you plan on attending, please register to help us make sure we have enough food for everyone.  Lunch will be Subway sandwiches (veggie options available), chips, and drinks.

    Click on the links below for more information:

    Meeting Registration

    Meeting Agenda

    Discussion Topics


    Hope to see you there.  


    Join the Friends!

    Renew Your Membership


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

  • Sunday, June 14, 2020 11:13 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Work has begun ion the next phase of the repairs on the water control structure on Savannah NWR.  The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive will be closed to all traffic until further notice.  On a week-by-week basis, the Drive will be open on Saturday and Sunday and Federal holidays from sunup to sundown.  Check the Savannah NWR web page for specifics before you head out.

    The Savannah NWR Visitor Center remains closed until further notice due to the pandemic.

  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 7:19 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Don't miss out on our Low Country Boil on Feb. 1st, 2019 to help celebrate the opening of the Beech Hill Pavilion at Savannah NWR!  More info and advance tickets are available HERE.

  • Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:23 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    This is definitely a "Good News-Bad News" situation.  Hurricane repair work has finally begun on the main water control structure on the wildlife drive that was made inoperable by Hurricane Irma in 2017.  Alas, the repairs will require the intermittent closure of the wildlife drive until the repairs are completed, hopefully by the end of May 2020.  So far the Service has been able to keep the drive open on weekends, but that may change week to week.  Check the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex Facebook page before heading out to the drive.  Notices are planned to be posted  by Wednesday afternoon for the following weekend.

  • Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:21 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Join us for this annual event in the newly completed Beech Hill Pavilion on Savannah NWR! The Visitor Center will be open from 9AM to 4PM with a 20% off sale at The Gator Hole, our book and nature store. Tour the new Pavilion starting at 2 PM, while enjoying chili, hot dogs, drinks and snacks for sale at our fully equipped kitchen. Dr. Wasil Khan, Friends Board member, will also be displaying some of his fascinating reptile collection as well.

    At 4PM, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive , so be sure to bring your cameras to get your free photo opp with this jolly couple before they disappear at 6PM. During their visit the Fish and Wildlife Service will provide free refreshments and arts and crafts for the kids.
    Hope to see you there!

  • Friday, September 06, 2019 11:42 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    All our refuges have resumed normal operating hours and procedures after the Hurricane Dorian shutdown.  Only minimal damage has been found and the new Beech Hill Pavilion was unharmed.

  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019 10:51 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    The Friends are proud to announce that our Savannah NWR Self-guided Tour is now available as a web site and as a mobile app in iTunes and the Google Play store.  Search for "Savannah NWR Tour".  Be sure to allow the app to send you notifications and to see your location for when you are on or near the refue.

    Check it out, let us know what you think!

  • Monday, June 24, 2019 2:42 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    A big Friends welcome to Susan Kellett and Georgia Walters who have been appointed to fill two vacant seats on the Friends Board.

    Georgia will become assistant manager of The Gator Hole.

    Susan will focus on improving and expanding our social media presence.

    Welcome aboard!

  • Wednesday, May 01, 2019 11:20 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Pinckney Island NWR is now open to the public following repairs to the access road which were completed ahead of schedule.

  • Monday, January 29, 2018 12:54 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

     Hard to believe but this will be our 10th Annual Meeting!   We are pleased to welcome back Tony Mills from the Lowcountry Institute with his presentation "Living in our Coastal Kingdom: Lessons Learned from Lowcountry Animals".  Tony is a well-known and well-respected naturalist and star of the long-running TV series Coastal Kingdom. His presentation will feature a collection of his animal friends with an opportunity for the audience to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures.

          Holly Gaboriault, Project Leader for the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex, will present a “State of the Refuges” update.  Rick Shields, Friends president, will report on activities of the Friends group over the past year, and give an update on the Kingfisher Discovery Center Project.  We will also hold an election to fill four open seats on the Friends Board of Directors.

         This meeting is free and open to the public, with light refreshments and live music.  Only Friends members are eligible to vote (you can join up or renew at the door). We are holding both an on-line auction prior to the meeting (bidding opens March 22) and a silent auction at the meeting.  We will offer some exciting and unique nature-oriented items that you will not find elsewhere. 

         For questions, email webmaster@coastalrefuges.org or call 912-604-1872. Directions to Palmetto Electric Coop.

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   Next >  Last >> 

Please consider donating to the Friends! 

Email us at webmaster@

Copyright 2017
PO Box 16841
Savannah, GA, 31416

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software