Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Little Back River Pond. September 2011.

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge September 2011.
music by Billy Simmonds trio.

The Little Back River ponds in Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is one pond that contained a very large waterlilies field worthy of recognition .

By 1850 as many as 13 rice plantations were located along the Savannah River on land now within the refuge boundaries. The current 6000 acres of freshwater impoundments (dyke-enclosed ponds), now managed to migratory waterfowl and wading birds, were once rice fields dating back to the mid or late 1700s. Many of the dikes used today, including the wildlife drive, were built upon some of the original plantation dikes constructed during the rice culture era. Now the former rice fields are actively managed 33 water control structures, including 16 rice fields,*trunks. A regiment of flooding and draining the impoundments provides feeding, roosting, and nesting habitat for waterfowl wading birds, shorebirds and other wildlife. In place of rice, wild foods such as smartweed, redroot, and mullet are encouraged to grow through careful manipulation of water levels..

Rice field trunks were first used in 1700s on all rice plantations along the tidal freshwater rivers from Georgetown, South Carolina, to Brunswick, Georgia. Today the refuge still uses handheld wood rice field trunks to control the water levels with trunks impoundments.

The freshwater diversion canal, constructed in 1978, borders the wildlife drive to the east and plays a vital role in managing the refuge impoundments system. The canal was part of the United States Army Corps of Engineers project to mitigate for increase salinity levels in the lower Savannah River due to the past harbor deepening. It allows freshwater to be pulled from further upstream in the Savannah River where the salt water intrusion has not occurred, and distributed refuge impoundments and neighboring private plantations.

*A Trunk is a structure similar to the dam that is used to control the water levels in each one of the ponds.

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Little Back River Pond. September 2011.
Music by Billy Simmonds Trio.

The Little Back River Pond in Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is one pond that contained a very large waterlilies field worthy of recognition .

By 1850 as many as 13 rice plantations were located along the Savannah River on land now within the refuge boundaries. The current 6000 acres of freshwater impoundments (dyke-enclosed ponds), now managed to migratory waterfowl and wading birds, were once rice fields dating back to the mid or late 1700s. Many of the dikes used today, including the wildlife drive, were built upon some of the original plantation dikes constructed during the rice culture era. Now the former rice fields are actively managed 33 water control structures, including 16 rice fields,*trunks. A regiment of flooding and draining the impoundments provides feeding, roosting, and nesting habitat for waterfowl wading birds, shorebirds and other wildlife. In place of rice, wild foods such as smartweed, redroot, and mullet are encouraged to grow through careful manipulation of water levels..

Rice field trunks were first used in 1700s on all rice plantations along the tidal freshwater rivers from Georgetown, South Carolina, to Brunswick, Georgia. Today the refuge still uses handheld wood rice field trunks to control the water levels with trunks impoundments.

The freshwater diversion canal, constructed in 1978, borders the wildlife drive to the east and plays a vital role in managing the refuge impoundments system. The canal was part of the United States Army Corps of Engineers project to mitigate for increase salinity levels in the lower Savannah River due to the past harbor deepening. It allows freshwater to be pulled from further upstream in the Savannah River where the salt water intrusion has not occurred, and distributed refuge impoundments and neighboring private plantations.

*A Trunk is a structure similar to the dam that is used to control the water levels in each one of the ponds.