The ACE Basin

The Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers which give the basin its name, combine to create one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the Atlantic Coast. A joint effort between federal and state government agencies, private conservation groups and local landowners, the ACE Basin consists of approximately 350,000 acres of diverse habitats including pine and hardwood uplands, forested wetlands, fresh, brackish and salt water tidal marshes, barrier islands and beaches.

The basin's unique estuarine system provides invaluable habitat for a rich diversity maritime resources. The basin also hosts a wealth of wildlife resources, including such endangered and threatened species as bald eagle, woodstork, osprey, loggerhead sea turtle and shortnose sturgeon, and offers a variety of recreational uses.

The Donnelley and Bear Island Wildlife Management Areas and the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve are managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources while the US Forest and Wildlife Service manage the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. In addition, the region is rich in historic and cultural landmarks such as old plantation homes, forts, cemeteries and churches.