Natural Features & Ecosystems

Aerial image of the different ecosystems found in Fort Pulaski

With approximately 90% of Fort Pulaski National Monument classified as wetland, including over 4,800 acres of salt marsh, the monument preserves and protects a sizeable portion of one of the most productive and prolific ecosystems known to man.

Located only a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, the waters within the park’s boundaries are teeming with shrimp, oysters, clams, mussels and the usual variety of fish found in southern coastal estuaries. The monument protects some of the most pristine resources in the area, as indicated by the presence of Class 1 waters for recreational harvest of shellfish.

However, neither of the islands that make up the site have escaped the influence of man. Between them, Cockspur and McQueens Islands are composed of approximately 500 acres of dredge spoil. The vegetation that has developed on these spoil deposits and altered marshlands is similar to many other sites adjacent coastal navigation routes in the southeast.

The maritime forest that has developed on the central part of Cockspur Island displays a high degree of natural integrity. The island offers a particularly good opportunity to study the influences of man on the natural processes of a saltwater estuarine ecosystem.

Click on the images below to explore the ecosystems that are present in Fort Pulaski National Monument and common among similar sites along the southeastern coast.
Landscape view of the salt marsh with the river in the background
Wetlands and Marshes

Wetlands and marshes - especially salt marshes - dominate the landscape of Fort Pulaski and provide vital habitat and widespread services.

Coast of an island with oyster shells along the edge and Spartina alterniflora further inland.
Coasts & Shorelines

The coasts and shorelines of Fort Pulaski offer a wide range of habitats to wildlife and provide many ecosystem services.

Nature trail on Cockspur Island through maritime forest
Maritime Forest

Maritime forest on Fort Pulaski provides an important habitat for resident and migratory wildlife and protects fragile coastal ecosystems.

Last updated: February 11, 2020

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41 Cockspur Island Road
Savannah, GA 31410


(912) 219-4233

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