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  • Sunday, January 28, 2018 6:56 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Hard to believe but the Friends will hold our 10th Annual Meeting at 6 PM on Thursday, April 5th, 2018 at the palmetto Electric Coop in Hardeeville, SC.!   We are pleased to welcome back Tony Mills from the Lowcountry Institute with his presentation "Living in our Coastal Kingdom: Lessons Learned from Lowcountry Animals".  Tony is a well-known and well-respected naturalist and star of the long-running TV series Coastal Kingdom. His presentation will feature a collection of his animal friends with an opportunity for the audience to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures.

          Shaw Davis, Deputy Project Leader for the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex, will present a “State of the Refuges” update. Rick Shields, Friends president, will report on activities of the Friends group over the past year, and give an update on theKingfisher Discovery Center Project.  We will also hold an election to fill four open seats on the Friends Board of Directors.

         This meeting is free and open to the public, with light refreshments and live music.  Only Friends members are eligible to vote (you can join up or renew at the door). We are holding both an on-line auction prior to the meeting (bidding opens March 22) and a silent auction at the meeting.  We will offer some exciting and unique nature-oriented items that you will not find elsewhere. 

         For questions, email webmaster@coastalrefuges.org or call 912-604-1872. Directions to Palmetto Electric Coop.

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:15 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Don't miss Reptiles Alive! on Saturday!  Lots of live animals, presentations, and some nice raffle prizes.

  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 11:39 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Good News everyone!  The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, which has been closed since Hurricane Irma blew through, has reopened to the public effective today following extensive repairs..  There are some restrictions, so please read the FWS Press Release prior to visiting.

  • Wednesday, October 04, 2017 8:21 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    All our refuges, with the exception of Savannah NWR,  have now been opened to the public after evaluation and repairs from hurricane damage.

    Repairs on the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive are progressing.  We should know next week about a possible reopening date.

  • Saturday, September 09, 2017 12:05 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    All of our refuges are closed until further notice because of the approach of Hurricane Irma.  This includes the Savannah NWR Visitor Center.  The Second Saturday talks originally scheduled for September 9th have been cancelled.

  • Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:43 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Be sure to mark your calendar and plan to attend Reptiles Alive! on October 21, 2017.  This event celebrates the gators, snakes, lizards, and turtles of the Southeast with exhibits, lectures, and tours.  

    More details HERE.

  • Sunday, June 18, 2017 10:31 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

     We have not been very timely in updating the web site recently, but that is about to change.  We plan to update the site weekly, and begin sending our e-newsletter out quarterly.  Watch for the latest version in your inbox in the next few days.

  • Sunday, June 18, 2017 10:27 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    At the Friends Board of Directors Meeting on June 15, 2017, Dr. Wasil Khan was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the late Connie Terrell.  Dr. Khan is no newcomer to the Board.  He was elected to a Board position at our very first membership meeting in 2009.  We welcome him back and look forward to working with him again.

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2017 8:27 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Despite the thunderstorms and tornado watches, the Friends met for the Ninth Annual Meeting on April 5th at the Palmetto Electric Coop in Hardeeville.  The food, live music, and presentations were topped off by our guest speaker, noted local naturalist Rudy Mancke, who fascinated the audience with a narrative of his experiences along coastal Georgia and South Carolina, then displayed some of the specimens collected over his lifetime.

  • Thursday, November 17, 2016 8:17 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    In the face of rising cost estimates and stricter engineering requirements for the Kingfisher Discovery Center Project, the Board of Directors of Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges has found it necessary to revise the time line and phasing of the project.  The original project cost estimate of $350,000 developed over two years ago, has now risen to closer to $600,000.  In addition, the Department of the Interior now requires that the total estimated cost of any project must be deposited into a designated account with the cooperating agency before any construction can begin.  This derailed our original plan to build the center in phases as the funds became available.

    We have raised more than $90,000 over the past two years for the project.  Increasing our target to $600,000 would mean many more years of continued fund-raising and the real chance that we might never reach that new goal within what any of us would consider a reasonable amount of time.  During that prolonged period, the demonstrated need for expanded educational opportunities for children and youth in our area would go unmet.

    The Friends Board of Directors, the leadership of the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex, and the Friends Advisory Council remain convinced of the need for the Discovery Center.

    Therefore, the Friends announce the following changes to the Kingfisher Discovery Center Project:

    • 1.     We will construct a screened-in covered pavilion on a concrete foundation at the proposed Discovery Center site adjacent to the Savannah NWR Visitor Center.  This will provide us with a functioning classroom space much sooner than if we delay until we have raised the larger amount needed to build the fully-enclosed building whose image has appeared on our website and promotional materials.
    • 2.     This pavilion will be designed and built such that if and when sufficient funds become available, it can be fully enclosed and upgraded to the original concept.
    • 3.     Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex will manage the construction and consider the use of Complex staff to assist in construction where possible.
    • 4.     The Friends group will continue to raise funds dedicated to the construction of the Discovery Center.  Efforts will now expand to include soliciting major local donors as well as state, national, and regional foundations and grantors.
    • 5.     In partnership with the Complex leadership, we will endeavor to secure federal funding for the building conversion, understanding that this is not assured and that, even if possible, will be years in the future.
    • 6.     Our new fund-raising goal for the revised project is $250,000, all of which must be on hand before construction can commence.
    • 7.     If, through our fund-raising efforts, we able to reach the $600,000 mark within the next year, we will proceed with the original plans and skip the intermediate pavilion stage.

    This plan will enable us to provide a functional facility much sooner than if we wait until we can afford to build the fully enclosed all-season version.  If you have already made a donation to the project, and are not comfortable with this revised plan, please contact us.

    We remain committed to the project, and hope that you are too.  If you want to help us continue the effort, or if you have ideas on how to help, please let us know.

    We can be reached at webmaster@coastalrefuges.org.

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Savannah, GA, 31416

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