- Santee NWR was established to provide wintering habitats for migratory waterfowl. With the decline in duck populations, the refuge found new purposes in providing habitat for four species of endangered or threatened species (Southern bald eagle, red-cockaded woodpecker, peregrine falcon, and American alligator) and neotropical migratory bird species.
Other areas of interest include the Santee Indian Mound/Fort Watson (on the National Register of Historic Places), the native Carolina bay habitat in the Dingle Pond Unit, a one mile nature trail passing through several indicative habitat types, and a wildlife drive through the Cuddo Unit.
Recreation - Opportunities for public use include visiting the Visitors Center, fishing, hunting, hiking, bird-watching, wildlife drive, boating, and the Santee Indian Mound.
Santee is well known for its fishing and hunting opportunities for largemouth, white, and striped bass; crappie; catfish; white-tailed deer; raccoon; and rabbit.
Climate - South Carolina generally has a temperate climate, with cool winters and warm, humid summers. Snow and freezing temperatures are possible in the winter at the higher elevations. Thunderstorms are possible throughout the year but most common in the spring and summer. Tropical storms occasionally strike the coast during the hurricane season.
Santee NWR is located in east-central South Carolina. The office/visitor center is seven miles south of Summerton and four miles north of Santee on U.S. Highway 301/15.