North Santee Bar Seabird Sanctuary

Property Location

Georgetown, SC 29440

Latitude: 33.117  Longitude:-79.238
Acreage: 5
County: Georgetown


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

Nature Viewing

Property Description

Photograph of North Santee Bar Seabird Sanctuary

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.