South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
North Santee Bar Seabird Sanctuary
Property LocationGeorgetown, SC 29440
Latitude: 33.117 Longitude:-79.238
Property Type: Seabird Sanctuaries
Hours of Operation
Due to bird nesting activity, this Sanctuary is closed to public use from March 15 thru October 15. The area may
be viewed from boats during these months and is accessible to the public below the high water tidal
line from October 16 thru March 14.
Closed one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.
Activities / Facilities
North Santee Bar Seabird Sanctuary was established to protect significant nesting habitat of sea and shorebirds. North Santee Bar encompasses approximately 5 acres at the mouth of the North Santee River in Charleston County. This property is a sand spit formed by deposits from associated river systems. It shifts in elevation and position due to erosion and deposition of sand, and in the past has been submerged at high tides, but presently it supports colonial nesting seabirds.
North Santee Bar supports colonies of nesting waterbirds because of its isolated nature and lack of mammalian predators. Although all species may not nest on the island each year, examples of species that have used the island include: royal tern, sandwich tern, least tern, black skimmer, and gull-billed tern. Besides providing nesting habitat, the sanctuary provides winter loafing and feeding areas for numerous species.
The colonial nesting behavior of these birds makes them very susceptible to disturbance. Birds are densely packed into breeding sites during the nesting season, rendering the entire colony susceptible to disruption or destruction. Therefore, the sanctuary is closed to public use from March 15 thru October 15. The area may be viewed from boats during these months and is accessible to the public below the high water tidal line from October 16 thru March 14. Dogs are prohibited year round and camping is not allowed.
The information provided on these web pages are for information only. Changes are made on the DNR's web site as new legislation is passed. Any discrepancy between these web pages and any statute or regulation shall be governed by the statute or regulation.