- Blackbeard Island NWR is one of the oldest refuges in the country, having been in continuous federal ownership since 1800 when the island was acquired by the Navy Department at public auction for the sum of $15,000. The refuge comprises an area of 5,618 acres and is situated approximately 18 miles off the coast of McIntosh County, Georgia.
Blackbeard Island was named for Edward Teach, alias Blackbeard the Pirate. Rumors of Blackbeard's buried treasure still flourish, but no evidence of his fortune has ever been discovered.
The island is comprised of interconnecting linear dunes thickly covered by oak/palmetto vegetation. There are approximately 1,163 acres of open freshwater or freshwater marsh, 2,000 acres of regularly flooded salt marsh, 2,115 acres of noncommercial forest, and 340 acres of sand beach.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities include hiking, salt and freshwater fishing, beachcombing, sea kayaking, photography, bicycling, and wildlife observation
Organized activities at Blackbeard Island include archery hunts for deer; beach cleanups; shorebird censuses conducted by volunteers
Climate - Climate throughout much of Georgia is warm to hot and humid in summer with winters generally mild. One should be prepared for cold weather during winter months.
Accessible only by boat. Located approximately 18 miles from Shellman's Bluff, Georgia. Several marinas on the mainland (Shellman's Bluff area) provide charter service to the barrier island for a fee. Private boats may be launched from the Barbour River Landing at Harris Neck NWR on the mainland. A listing of marinas offering transportation can be provided by the Savannah Coastal Refuges office.