Plants and habitats

Savannah Coastal Refuge Complex is made up of a variety of valuable habitats that provide food, water, shelter and space for wildlife. Coastal ecosystems also protect humans from storm damage, pollution, erosion, and sea level rise.

Learn about these important ecosystems below!

How many Habitats?

Scroll through the gallery below to see how many different types of habitats are found at the refuges in the Savannah Coastal Refuge Complex.


What are wetlands?

A wetland is an area where water covers the soil all year or during parts of the year. There are many types of wetlands, like marshes and swamps, that are protected and managed by the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex.

Why are wetlands so important?

  1. They soak up runoff and pollutants, which makes water clean for fish, wildlife, and our drinking water.
  2. They serve as valuable habitat for wildlife
  3. They protect surrounding ecosystems from the threats of climate change such as sea level rise and increased storms.

However, wetlands are also the most vulnerable to climate change. Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex conserves valuable wetlands for the benefit of wildlife and humans.

Wetland Trivia!

Test your knowledge! Below are four statements from the information given above, and three are false.

Can you select the one that's true?

Native, Non-Native, Native-Invasive and Invasive Plants

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages threats from invasive plants and animals that have negative impacts on native fish, wildlife, and plant populations. To understand invasive species, you need to understand the following terms.  

Native species

Native species occur naturally in an area, meaning they would be present without the influence of humans.  

Live oaks are an example of a native species.

Non-native species

Non-native species, also known as exotic species, do not occur naturally in an area. They are introduced to an area through intentional or unintentional human activities.

Osage-orange trees are an example of a non-native species.

Invasive species

Invasive species are species that cause economic or environmental damage, often by outcompeting desirable native species and degrading habitat. Invasive species can be native or non-native.  

Chinese Tallow is an example of an invasive species spread throughout coastal Georgia.

Native-invasive species

Native-invasive plants are plants that are naturally found in an area but under certain conditions grow out of control.

Cattails are an example of a native-invasive species that Refuge staff have to manage to promote biodiversity in the freshwater impoundments.

Tallow Trivia

One of the statements below is false. Use the information from above to determine the false statement.