Winyah Bay

Total acres: 1,555

The 525,000-acre Winyah Bay Focus Area covers the lower drainage of the Black, Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, Sampit and Waccamaw rivers and their confluence into Winyah Bay itself. Together, these waterways form the third largest estuarine watershed on the East Coast.

The Winyah Bay Focus Area boasts the largest contiguous block of tidal freshwater wetlands in South Carolina. Managed heavily over centuries for rice cultivation, these wetlands are regionally significant habitat for waterfowl, colonial waterbirds and nesting ospreys. Upland tracts support endangered red-cockaded woodpecker colonies. Many other threatened or endangered species can be found throughout Winyah Bay, including bald eagles, short-nosed sturgeon, loggerhead sea turtles, peregrine falcons, least terns, piping plovers, and wood storks. The Focus Area is vital for recreational and commercial fishing and shellfish harvesting, and local forestry and agriculture play a significant role in the regional economy.

The primary impacts to the natural resources of this region stem from urbanization, which has been greatest along the Grand Strand between Myrtle Beach and Georgetown, but is now expanding inland toward Conway.

The combined efforts of landowners, public agencies and private conservation organizations have resulted in the protection of 62,600 acres in the Winyah Bay Focus Area. The Lowcountry Open Land Trust protects 10 properties, covering 1,555 acres of natural and rural land.

Winyah Bay

Breakwater Plantation, Great Pee Dee River

DeBordieu II, Georgetown County

Debordieu, Pawley's Island

Guendalos, Great Pee Dee River

Hobonny Fields, Black Mingo Creek

Rosemont Plantation, Great Pee Dee River

Vaught Tract, Black Mingo Creek

Waccamaw River Bluff I and II, Waccamaw River

Weymouth Plantation, Great Pee Dee River

Woodland, Great Pee Dee River

Area Protected

260 acres

120 acres

42 acres

32 acres

196 acres

216 acres

254 acres

60 acres

175 acres

200 acres