Georgetown County, near Brookgreen Gardens
For more information, contact:
The Nature Conservancy
1417 Stuart Engals Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
What to See: Plants
Sandy Island supports a large number of rare plant communities. The uplands cover about half of the island and exhibit many communities typical of the Sandhills Region, along with those more commonly found in the Outer Coastal Plain. Parts of the island have experienced wildfires at various times. The north end of the island (which burned most often) supports a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) community with very little hardwoods understory. Mature longleaf pine in excess of 100 years old dominate the upland landscape. Fire is a natural component of such communities, preserving health, quality and diversity. Where fire was suppressed in the south end of the island, turkey oak dominates the upland landscape.
What to See: Animals
Among the rare species existing in the pine forest is the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. These birds depend upon the mature, fire-resistant pine forest to provide forage and nesting sites. Black bears also use Sandy Island as a corridor for travel.
In 2012 The Nature Conservancy entered into an agreement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service where they help the Conservancy manage the wetlands surrounding the Preserve. Hunting on the wetlands is managed by the USFWS. For more information and to obtain a permit call 843-527-8069. The Nature Conservancy has also entered into the Property Watch Program managed by the SC Department of Natural Resources to help police illegal hunting and other activities on the Preserve.
What the Conservancy Is Doing
The Nature Conservancy manages the longleaf pine forests on Sandy Island Preserve with periodic prescribed burns. We are working to reduce the invasive feral hog population on the island by hunting and trapping methods. The Nature Conservancy is organizing limited archery hunts on the upland forests of Sandy Island. For more information call 843-937-8807 x-15.
How to Prepare for Your Visit
The public is invited to enjoy the property during daylight hours. However, the following activities are not allowed:
The USFWS and The Nature Conservancy respect and recognize the rights of private property owners. Please do not trespass on private property adjacent to the preserve boundaries.
There is no bridge to Sandy Island. However, four public boat landings exist near the island on the Waccamaw and Pee Dee rivers.