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Cape Romain Wilderness

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Area Management

The Cape Romain Wilderness is part of the 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Cape Romain Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve and protect migratory birds and other species of wildlife that are listed as endangered or threatened and, to restore or develop adequate wildlife habitat.

During the seabird and shorebird nesting season, several areas within the Refuge are closed to allow undisturbed nesting areas for these species. Marsh Island and White Banks are closed from February 15 to September 15. No landing or access is permitted on these two islands. In addition, areas on Cape Island, Lighthouse Island and Raccoon Key are closed starting in April for colonial nesting seabirds. These areas are posted and roped off to delineate the nesting areas and to keep the visiting public from inadvertently walking through the colony. Landing is permitted on these islands but access in the closed areas is not.

Other solitary nesting shorebirds nest above the high tide line on all of the Refuge islands. All of the nesting birds have camouflaged eggs designed to blend in with the sand. The eggs are laid in a shallow scrape and are difficult to see. If birds are in the area and calling loudly or swooping down at you, there is probably a nest in the area. Always use caution when walking above the high tide line as to not step on these nests/eggs.

In addition to nesting birds, sea turtle nests are plentiful on the Refuge, especially the northern end. These nests are protected by cages or enclosures with PVC marking poles. Disturbance of these nests is prohibited.




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