Golden Isles

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Wildlife & Nature

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There is something you will notice upon your arrival to the Golden Isles, the vast marshland that surrounds the area as well as the old growth maritime forests that are still intact. The state of Georgia has only about 90 miles of coastline yet holds approximately one-third of the entire marshland of the Atlantic seaboard. This translates into ample and diverse habitat for birds and marine life alike and is a major migratory stop for wildlife. In addition, the large areas of old growth maritime forests on the islands create tree canopies for habitat and make for an absolutely unique and beautiful setting unlike any other on the east coast.

There is no better proof of the unspoiled natural beauty of the area than the abundance and variety of wildlife which inhabit this coastal low country; yet enjoying them rarely requires ardent searching. In fact, a drive along St. Simons or Jekyll causeways, or most any road that bends near marshlands and tidal creeks, can reveal feeding marsh rabbits in the spring or fall, great blue herons and majestic bald eagles. When wading along the ocean’s edge or when near the area’s rivers, one can often see a school of sleek dolphin and formations of pelicans diving for food in the waterways that teem with fish. Though usually seen at night and protected by federal law, Loggerhead sea turtles have, for centuries, found the beaches of the Golden Isles a preferred spot for laying their eggs. While not seen as often, but no less abundant, are the deer, opossums and armadillos which inhabit the dense woods of the area. Venture afoot into the marsh to discover fiddler crabs, raccoons and several of the 400+ species of birds that may be found here.

In this richly diversified land and seascape, activities such as saltwater fishing, sailing, kayaking and birding continue to grow in popularity, contributing to the vibrant coastal economy. Healthy maritime ecosystems provide many sustainable benefits, from tourism to the harvesting of fresh seafood. It is only through the wise stewardship of our richly endowed environment that the special beauty and life of coastal Georgia will be preserved for generations to come.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the Golden Isles and explore the natural beauty that makes this destination unique. Please respect the environment by leaving each area you visit as you found it. Whether you spend time relaxing and playing on the beach or hiking a nature trail, please 'pack out what you packed in'. Thank you for helping us to keep the Golden Isles beautiful!

Marshes along Clam Creek on Jekyll Island


"...By a world of marsh that borders a world of sea. Sinuous southward and sinuous northward the shimmering band of the sand beach fastens the fringe of the marsh to the folds of the land."

Beach along Jekyll Island, GA


Only 13 percent of the world’s coastlines and more than one-third (33 percent) of the coast of North America is bordered by barrier islands. From Florida northward to Maine, they change dramatically in character.

Green Leaf Program


What is the Green Leaf?

The Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau has created

Our Environmental Commitment

The Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) along with our local organizations is dedicated to protecting the environment in which we live, work and play.