This is an all-day group trip. Arrive Sapelo Island Visitors Center, 1766 Landing Rd. SE, Darien, GA 31305, at 8 a.m. for 8:30 a.m. ferry to island. Cost: $30, for ferry, four-hour bus tour, and reserved lunch at the R.J. Reynolds Mansion. Cash only. We depart the island on the 2:30 p.m. ferry.
Please be sure you will be able to attend. A reservation obligates you to pay for your trip. Maximum: 25. Reservations close on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Maps and other information at Sapelo Island reserve website: http://nerrs.noaa.gov/Reserve.aspx?ResID=SAP.
The Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 28 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reserves in the U.S. The reserve occupies one third of Georgia's fourth largest barrier island. The reserve is managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. It covers more than 6,100 acres, including upland maritime forest, hammock island, tidal marsh and beach.
Our guide will be a biologist/educator with the reserve. We'll visit Long Tabby, lighthouse, research lab, Hog Hammock Geechee community and Reynolds Mansion, where we'll have lunch. We should see many water birds as well as the Southern bald eagle and peregrine falcons.
The island has been occupied for 4,500 years. Prior to arrival of Europeans in the 1520s, it was part of the Guale nation. In the 1800s, it was a thriving plantation. In 1934, it was purchased by tobacco heir Richard J. Reynolds, Jr.,who created the Sapelo Island Research Foundation. He worked with the University of George to set up labs which became part of the University of Georgia Marine Institute. The State began to buy the land in 1969.
Bring water, rain gear, snacks and insect spray.
Make reservations and arrange carpools on Meetup. We will caravan from Publix, 4413 Town Center Pkwy (near St. Johns Town Center) off I-295 East (9A), north of JTB. We will depart promptly at 6:20 a.m. Estimated driving time from Publix: 1.5 hours.