This is the view at the Tivoli River Fishing Pier & Kayak Launch, on Belfast-Keller Road, and it’s the first public “kayak/canoe-only launch” in Coastal Georgia. The Tivoli is an 8.9 mile-long tidal river that flows into the Belfast River, just north of that river’s terminus at the Medway River. The fishing is generally good, too, with redfish, trout, and flounder being abundant much of the year.
Tag Archives: Coastal Georgia Ecotourism
American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) are abundant (though generally not aggressive) in the ponds and wetland areas of Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. There were over a dozen young alligators within the first 300 yards or so, posing for my camera then slipping off into the water.
Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) were once a symbol of the diminishing wetland habitat necessary for their survival in the swamps of the Southeast. For a time one of the most endangered species in America, recent years have seen gains in their population, enough so that the Fish & Wildlife Service is considering removing them from the endangered list. They would still have a threatened status. A friend of mine recently suggested I not place them on a “vanishing” site; in honor of her positive outlook, I offer them as an evocation of how far we’ve come in protecting Georgia’s wetlands but a reminder in how much we still need to fight to protect them. Anyone who has been around Coastal Georgia in the past few years knows that population and development race forward, nearly unfettered.
Visiting Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in late winter and early spring when the Wood Storks, along with myriad other waterfowl and waders are abundant, is a must-do when in McIntosh County.
Lazaretto Creek is located on the edge of Tybee Island and can be accessed at the Lazaretto Creek Fishing Pier off U. S. Highway 80 or just over the Lazaretto Creek Bridge. It’s a great area for tourists and locals alike to stop and take in the salt marsh scenery. Georgia’s endangered shrimping industry is usually represented with a few boats and Captain Mike’s bright yellow Dolphin boats (in business since 1992) herald a boom in ecotourism. It’s really a nice contrast between old and new.
Ecotourism has experienced a boom in recent years and though Georgia is just beginning to embrace it on a large scale, it is alive and well in the coastal counties, thanks to outfitters like Altamaha Coastal Tours. If you’re interested, visit their website, or look for others who can help guide you through the complex network of tidal creeks and inlets that characterize the Georgia coast.