Dedicated in spring 2009, the 1,312-acre Robbie Doak Fisher Nature Preserve is part of the interconnected acreage that protects and preserves the Pascagoula River watershed. The Pascagoula River is the largest (by volume) free-flowing river in the contiguous United States, and was the first large-scale project of the Conservancy in Mississippi.
Named for the former state director of The Nature Conservancy in Mississippi (1999-2008), the preserve includes habitats indicative to the the area, including McLendon Slough (pictured above) which is a wetland area typical of the region. Wetlands are some of the most diverse habitats, providing breeding, resting and wintering habitats for migratory birds, breeding areas and 'nurseries' for fish and other animals. In addition, wetlands are excellent natural filtering systems, trapping and neutralizing pollutants, reducing sediments downstream, and even buffering during drought and flood conditions.
The Fisher Preserve includes a number of lakes, and Big Creek also flows through the site, creating excellent habitat for wading birds such as ibis and great white egret. Swallow-tailed kites also can be seen in the area.
The Nature Conservancy has worked to improve the bottomland hardwood habitat of the site, and has completed projects such as eradication of invasive tallow trees as well as streambank restoration of bottomland hardwood trees.