Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center, Georgetown

How to Get There --

Free educational field trips are offered throughout the year (most frequently fall through spring) to persons interested in learning more about the natural and cultural histories of this remarkable property. These small group outings allow maximum visitor interaction while limiting impact on the resources. There is also a dedicated staff member who can travel offsite and offer your group or organization an in-depth audio/visual presentation on the many facets of The Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center. Call Patty Wham at 843-546-6814 to reserve a spot.

Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center --

One of Tom Yawkey's greatest legacies was the donation of 20,000 acres of land along the shoreline in Georgetown County to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Now known as the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center (Wildlife Center), the area is maintained through a joint partnership between the Yawkey Foundation and the SCDNR. The Wildlife Center's marshes, marine wetlands, forests and sandy beaches play host to hundreds of species of migratory birds, eagles, alligators, sea turtles, and many other endangered species. Since its founding in 1976, the Wildlife Center has stayed true to its mission: to remain protected and undisturbed, and to be a place of research, study, and education.

Research Partnerships --

The Wildlife Center has greatly expanded its research and educational partnerships over the past decade. In 2014, it entered into a formal research arrangement with Clemson University to help manage the volume of educational research taking place at the Wildlife Center. Since 1994 the Wildlife Center has served as an outdoor lab for Clemson from faculty-directed research focusing on sea turtle conservation to facilitating continuing education courses for K-12 science teachers from South Carolina. With this new partnership, the Wildlife Center will also advance its own research capabilities.

Two other dynamic research projects underway include a long-term American alligator study being conducted by the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and a hurricane study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The alligator study is unique due to the location, and SCDNR's already existent 30 years of research, which has provided a rare trove of data. The research is being used for studies at MUSC for analysis of environmental contaminants and their affect on human reproductive health through alligator research. The team from Woods Hole is studying how changes in climate might be affecting recent hurricane activity by collecting soil samples. The Wildlife Center's undisturbed salt marshes provide a rich geological record of hurricanes that go back centuries, even millennia. These soil samples are being used to reconstruct past hurricane patterns and to analyze how those patterns have changed over time.

Such important studies will influence wildlife and land management techniques across the country, while allowing a growing number of researchers and students to benefit from the Wildlife Center's undisturbed landscape.
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Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
11 reviews
  • Thank you to the Yawkeys and the wildlife oasis and foundation they left behind to care for it. What an amazing experience. Our nature guide Jim was incredibly knowledgeable and was eager to share and...  more »
  • This is a must ! Our tour guide was so knowledgable, the house is beautiful and the beach was so pretty. A well preserved wildlife center that our group could have spent all day exploring.  more »
  • Convnient landing to put your boat in that is quick to get to the fishing holes but a little rough with the parking lot but is better than it used to be. I go there often for my fishing trips.
  • Beautiful place I'll suggest that guided tour through scdnr

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