Kiawah Nature & Beauty

Lush maritime forest, tidal creeks, freshwater ponds, peaceful marsh, and a beautiful river

Nature Header

This is where the wild things are. Blue herons, long-legged egrets, white ibis, and hooded mergansers make the marshes their home. The tidal creeks of Kiawah Island are brimming with red drum, spotted sea trout, and flounder.

Bird on Branch

Boughs of ages-old pines and live oaks perfume the air, in skies filled with orange-beaked oystercatchers, avocets, black-bellied plovers, sanderlings, gulls, and terns. And, outside of wildlife refuges, Kiawah is the region’s most prolific nesting area for loggerhead turtles.

In all, Kiawah is home to:

  • 18 species of mammals
  • 30+ species of reptiles
  • 300 species of birds

Protecting Kiawah wildlife in perpetuity

Thanks to Kiawah’s commitment to environmental stewardship, every corner of the Island serves as a refuge for flora and fauna — and for the Island’s human inhabitants. Kiawah’s natural environment is protected by various entities:

  • Kiawah Conservancy
  • Kiawah Partners
Dolphin on Kiawah Island
Beautiful Sunset on Kiawah Island

Kiawah Conservancy

The Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy, a chartered non-profit, grassroots organization, was established by Island residents in 1997 to preserve the natural habitat of Kiawah Island. The Conservancy has preserved more than 20 properties and more than 320 acres of pristine barrier island habitat, including 150-acre Little Bear Island at the easternmost tip of Kiawah Island.

Kiawah Partners

About half of the Island’s 10,000 acres are undeveloped natural lowlands, and of the high ground, half again has been donated for conservation, parks, or recreational uses.

In addition, Kiawah Partners deeded between 300 and 400 acres of valuable dune land to the Kiawah Island Community Association to provide a permanent buffer to protect the beach and multiple dune rows for all to enjoy.

Sunset through the trees

Protected views

Homes throughout the Island enjoy unobstructed views of bird-inhabited marshland, verdant forest, sun-sparkled water and rolling golf greens, thanks to Kiawah’s careful planning and respect for the natural environment.

Enjoy the view


Get a glimpse of Kiawah’s natural splendor


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Kiawah Legends Magazine

Great storytelling, Kiawah owner profiles, Lowcountry lore and more from "The Magazine of Gracious Island Living".
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