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  • Thursday, April 11, 2013 5:02 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    Join us on Saturday, April 27th, to help clean up the entrance to the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive on Savannah NWR.

    Check "Coming Events" for the details.
  • Thursday, April 11, 2013 4:21 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Last night the US Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Sally Jewell to be the next Secretary of the Department of the Interior (the US Fish & Wildlife Service is part of the DOI).  She will replace Ken Salazar who stepped down last month after four years in this cabinet position.

    The Senate confirmed Sally Jewell as the next Secretary of the Interior on April 10, 2013, with a vote of 87-11.
    Photo by Jack Storms

    Ms. Jewell currently is CEO of REI, a major retailer of outdoor recreational equipment.

    The National Wildlife Refuge Association strongly supported Ms. Jewell's nomination, and issued this statement today.

    Here is the NY Times article about the confirmation.
  • Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:10 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
          The President's proposed budget for the next fiscal year allocates only a little over a million dollars for the Savannah Harbor Deepening project, far short of the $100 million that supporters of the project had hoped for.
         While this doesn't mean the end of this hugely expensive and ill-conceived
    boondoggle, it might delay its implementation significantly.
         Those of you who attended Dana Beach's presentation at the Annual Meeting understand just what an expensive mistake (in more ways than one) that this project is.  Check out the links below for more info.

    Savannah Morning News Article

    SC Coastal Conservation League Resource

    Harbor Deepening Project Page
  • Tuesday, April 09, 2013 1:59 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
          The Friends group 5th Annual General Membership Meeting couldn't have gone better on Saturday!  We had about 65 folks in attendance, who shared great door prizes and fellowship while hearing a very informative talk about the Savannah Harbor Deepening from our featured speaker, Dana Beach from the South Carolina Coastal Conservation league.
         We welcomed to our Board of Directors three new members: Connie Terrell; George Cathcart; and Tracy Toogood, and reelected Dot Bambach and Rick Shields.  After the meeting 25 lucky members took a narrated wagon ride through the refuge on a perfect spring afternoon.
         Many thanks to Jane Griess, our Project Leader, for her "State of the Refuges" talk; to Twila Gray and Connie Terrell for handling the refreshments; to Dot Bambach for arranging the door prizes; to all our door prize donors; to Arnie and Elly Weisbrot (our indefatigable RV volunteers) for leading the wagon ride; and to George Cathcart and Connie Terrell for staffing the registration table.
         Look for the next newsletter for more details and photos.
  • Saturday, March 30, 2013 9:36 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
          I hope you are all planning to attend our 5th Annual General Membership Meeting on Saturday, April 6th, from 1 to 3 PM at the Savannah NWR Visitor Center!  The meeting is open to all, but only members in good standing may vote.
         Our featured speaker is Dana Beach, Executive Director of the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League who will present "Dredging the Savannah River: the Last Nail in the Coffin?"  You don't want to miss this assessment of the environmental impact of the Savannah Harbor Deepening Project.  Other presentations will be by Jane Griess, Project Leader of the Savannah Refuges Complex, and Rick Shields, Friends Group President.
         Members will also be selecting Board of Director candidates to fill five seats that are coming open, as well as voting on two amendments to the Friends Bylaws.
        Some great door prizes will be given away and light refreshments will be available.  As an extra bonus, The Gator Hole will be offering 20% off all merchandise!
         After the presentations, there will be a narrated wagon tour of the Savannah NWR north of SC 170 (weather permitting).  Reservations are requested as space is limited to 25 riders.  For those not going on the wagon ride, there will be an informal "Open Mike" session in which we will discuss topics of your choice concerning the Refuges or the Friends group.





  • Monday, March 25, 2013 11:57 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    Byline:  Monica Harris
        Staff of the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex and the US F&WS Regional Office along with the Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges greeted 400 visitors to Savannah NWR as they participated in the Second Annual Natural Resource Discovery Day, March 9, 2013.
         This year’s event welcomed additional support from the Savannah Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), and University of Georgia’s (UGA) Mary Warnell Forest Education Center.  Other volunteers included students from Ogeechee Tech, Georgia Southern University, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  A local Boy Scout troop, Girls in Science Club, and a Junior Refuge Manger participant also volunteered for the event. 

         Visitors had the opportunity to learn about banding birds, while a few got the chance to actually release birds banded that morning.  To get a better understanding of why we band, participants were encouraged to make banding bracelets for themselves.  Other activities focused on forest management, water management, law enforcement and illegal trade, the junior duck stamp program, and archeology. 

         Many visitors were particularly interested in and excited about the archery course, NWTF BB gun range, making turkey calls, the animal Olympics course and the many live reptiles on exhibit  (thanks to Friends group Board member Dave Chafin and his Reptiles Alive). To encourage them to take in all of the activities throughout the day, the NWTF donated six, $40 gift cards from Bass Pro Shop that were given away as door prizes every hour.

         This event attracted one of the largest crowds in recent memory to the Savannah NWR Visitor Center.  Thanks to all the volunteers and participating groups who made the day so successful.

  • Monday, March 25, 2013 11:44 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
      The US F&WS has joined forces with Georgia DNR, the Friends group, and others to present a Kids Fishing Day event at Harris neck NWR on June 8, 2013.
         Participants will will learn about fishing and fishing equipment, cast netting, fishing ethics, and water safety.  DNR will give each child a fishing rod and reel and a tackle box and the Friends will provide lunch.
         The event is free for kids from 5 through 12, but registration is required as space is limited to 80 children.
         Registration starts April 1, 2013.  To register call 912-832-4608, stop by in person at the Harris Neck NWR contact station, or visit www.fws.gov/harrisneck for more info and to download the registration form.  The form is also available at the link below.

  • Sunday, March 24, 2013 11:38 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
        The kayaking event in Bluffton sponsored by the Swampgirls Kayaking Club scheduled for march 24th has been rescheduled to April 7th because of inclement weather.
  • Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:40 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    Mark your calendars so you won't miss our Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, April 6th at the Savannah NWR Visitor Center.  There will be fun for all with speakers, door prizes, refreshments, and an outdoor event (weather permitting).  Watch the web site for more details.
  • Saturday, January 19, 2013 8:19 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    The Friends group book and nature store, The Gator Hole, recorded sales and donations of nearly $38,000 in 2012.  This represents an increase of more than $9000 over 2011.
      All proceeds from sales in the store are used for Friends group projects to benefit all the refuges in our complex.

Please consider donating to the Friends! 

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PO Box 16841
Savannah, GA, 31416

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