Kingfisher Pond Discovery Center Project Fundraising Progress


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 are managed by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which currently consists of more than 560 Refuges totaling about 150 million acres of land and water across the US, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

     Founded in 2007 and granted tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status in 2008, we are one of more than 230 Friends groups affiliated with National Wildlife Refuges.  We are also an affiliate of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, a national group that advocates for the entire Refuge System.

What's New

June 18, 2017

Now more than ever!!

 The National Wildlife Refuge System is facing a very large budget cut in the President’s proposed budget.  While it is not clear what the ultimate cut will be, it is clear that the System will not receive the funds necessary to tackle the backlog of maintenance issues and sustain the daily operations of 566 refuges while continuing the important biological, environmental, and educational work that is the core mission of the Refuge System.

The impact of such cuts on our local refuges could be severe, including reductions in hours, reductions in staff, program cancellations, and even the imposition of admission fees for the refuges.


Now more than ever we, as concerned citizens, must step up to support our refuges.  Please consider writing or calling your US Senators and Representatives asking that they support increasing the Fiscal Year 2018 funding level of the National Wildlife Refuge System to $586 million.  This is about what it was in FY 2010.


Please also consider volunteering with the Fish and Wildlife Service and joining or donating to the Friends.  Email us or click on the Donate button on this page.

June 17, 2017

It is with great sadness that we note the recent deaths of two of our most dedicated and devoted volunteers.

Connie Terrell has been with us from the beginning, starting as one of the original Pinckney Nine volunteers that for years maintained and supported Pinckney Island NWR.  She served for many years as Secretary of the Friends Board of Directors, and was just reelected to the Board at our April Membership meeting.  Connie could always be counted on for a smile and a kind word, whether picking up trash on Pinckney or cooking up our famous Friends hot dogs at refuge events.  Connie requested that in lieu of flowers or other remembrances, people that knew and loved her should donate to the Friends.

Jack Greenfield was an active volunteer with a number or local organizations, including the Friends, and most recently was helping to manage our Pinckney Island NWR Accessibility Project.  His family has requested that donations in his memory be made to the Hilton Head Audubon Society, which is planning a memorial at the Newhall Audubon Preserve in Jack’s memory.

April 12, 2017

Despite the very threatening weather, about forty hardy souls turned out for our 9th Annual Meeting on April 5th.  They were well-rewarded with food, live music, and an entertaining and informative presentation by Rudy Mancke.

A big Friends group thanks to April Sutton who took the lead in organizing the meeting.

Congratulations to Bob Speare and Ivan Bennett who were elected to their first two-year terms on our Board of Directors.  Rick Shields, John Petraglia, and Connie Terrell were reelected to the Board.

The online and silent auctions raised $3100 for Friends group projects.

Our next Board meeting is on Thursday, April 20th at the Savannah NWR Visitor Center at 6:30 PM.  As always, members are invited to attend.

April 4, 2017

     Thanks to everyone who donated and participated in our third online auction.  We use a site called Bidding Owl which greatly simplifies the process.  This year we raised almost $2300 on line, with many other items to be sold at the silent auction to be held on April 5th in conjunction with the Friends 9th Annual Meeting.

Thanks especially to May River Golf Club, Larry Carlisle, the Carretta Project, Savannah Helicopter Tours, The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort, Steve Wagner, The Collective Face, Joe's Homemade Cafe, Savannah Sweets, and Camelot farms Equestrian Center for their generous donations of goods and services.

March 30, 2017

 Hope you all plan to attend the Friends Annual Meeting on April 5th at the Palmetto Electric Coop on Hwy 278 in Hardeeville, SC.  Rudy Mancke is our guest speaker, and we will have live music, refreshments, and a silent auction.  Our on-line auction went live today and will close on April 4th, so be sure to check out the items and get your bids in!

The meeting description is HERE

The on-line auction site is HERE

March 30, 2017

 Hope you all plan to attend the Friends Annual Meeting on April 5th at the Palmetto Electric Coop on Hwy 278 in Hardeeville.  Rudy Mancke is our guest speaker, and we will have live music, refreshments, and a silent auction.  Our on-line auction went live today and will close on April 4th, so be sure to check out the items and get your bids in!

The meeting description is HERE

The on-line auction site is HERE

March 18, 2018

The administration's proposed federal budget for Fiscal Year 2018 would be, if enacted, a disaster for the National Wildlife Refuge System.  Only in general outline form so far, it appears that the refuge system may be hit with as much as a 20% cut in the already inadequate funding levels from last year.   

Read more about this important issue HERE, then please consider taking action to support your refuge system.  The National Wildlife Refuge Association has published a Press Release about the budget.  Please read it as well.

February 1, 2017

Hope all of you have had a chance to enjoy our refuges during this amazing mild winter weather!  It’s a great time to explore the outdoors.

The Pinckney Island Accessibility Project is off to a great start with all our scheduled tours filling up quickly.  We are limited to two tours per week and our priority target are those visitors who are mobility impaired and unable to enjoy the refuge on foot.  Click HERE to view the available tours.  A big Friends Group thanks to the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry whose generous donation enabled us to purchase the shuttle, bikes, and other equipment.  Thanks also to John Petraglia, Twila Gray, Kris Williams, Bob Speare, Jack Greenshields, Judy Eastman, and all the other volunteers whose hard work has made this program a success.

If you are interested in volunteering at Pinckney, please click HERE for more information.

The Kingfisher Discovery Center Project is in a regrouping and reevaluation phase, more information will follow.  We have raised more than $95,000 so far but still have a long way to go.

The Friends annual meeting will be held this year on Wednesday, April 5th in the Palmetto Electric Coop Community Room on Hwy 278 in Hardeeville (same place as last year).  Keep the date open, more details soon.

December 1, 2016

Scavenger Hunt a “DASH”ing success!

Our first ever Coastal Celebrity Daring Adventure Scavenger Hunt was held on a beautiful November Saturday at the Savannah NWR.  After 12 weeks of fund raising to support the Kingfisher Discovery Center, five teams of DASH’ers met at the Visitor Center to receive their instructions.  The teams were excited and ready to compete, and clues in hand they scattered across the Refuge to find and photograph the scavenger hunt targets, while hoping to be the first to return to the Visitor Center having completed the most items in the allotted time.

The winning team was the Public School Problem Solvers, made up of Julie Wade, Peter Ulrich, Alfred McGuire, Heather Handy, and Kurt Hetager.  They took home the coveted Golden Monocle Award for finishing first. 

The South University team of Dr. Todd Cellini, Craig Tootle, Dorethea Walker, and Tim Blackston took home the trophy for raising the most money during th

“Work to make a living…volunteer to make a difference”

Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges


Nature Tours

Pinckney Island NWR

Pinckney Island NWR Nature programs are brought to you FREE by the Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges and the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge thanks to a generous grant from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.  Our shuttle tours allow accessibility challenged people to easily get on/off (two low steps) and the tours do not require walking.  

   See Event Schedule - Reservations

   See Volunteers Needed 

   See Dec 1 Island Packet Article 

   See Inaugural Day Photos

   See Friends Forward Article

Support the Friends

FSCWR receives no government funding.  Our activities are made possible by membership dues, contributions from folks like you, from sales at our book and nature store, The Gator Hole (at Savannah NWR), and from grants. 

Please consider becoming a member or making a donation to enable us to continue our efforts in support of our refuges.  If your are a grant administrator or know of an organization that might be interested in awarding grants to the Friends, please contact Rick Shields at

Coming Events

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:30 AM • Pinckney Island NWR
Tuesday, July 04, 2017 9:00 AM • Pinckney Island NWR
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 9:00 AM • Pinckney Island NWR
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 9:00 AM • Pinckney Island NWR
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 6:30 PM • Savannah NWR Visitor Center
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 6:30 PM • Savannah NWR Visitor Center

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Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges, Inc.
PO Box 16841, Savannah, GA, 31416
Copyright 2017

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