2009 Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting

General Information



On-line registration is now open through the following link. https://events.pxi.com/aas/reg


We will accept registration and payment on-site for those who have not pre-registered online, but we strongly recommend processing it online before the conference in order to avoid delays. (See URL above). Pre-registration also gives you free access to pre-print technical papers. On-site payment by credit card will be only through the AAS website using a computer at the registration table. Any checks should be made payable to the "American Astronautical Society."


On-site packet pick up and registration will be available on the following schedule:

Sun. Feb. 8: 4:00 PM -- 06:00 PM

Mon. Feb. 9: 8:00 AM -- 02:00 PM

Tue. Feb. 10: 8:00 AM -- 02:00 PM

Wed. Feb. 11: 8:00 AM -- 02:00 PM

Thu. Feb. 12: 8:00 AM -- 10:00 AM

 Official Schedule of Events


Sunday, 8 Feb 2009

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Conference Registration

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Telfair Art Museum Early Bird Reception

Monday, 9 Feb 2009


7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Speakers’ Breakfast (Pulaski)

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Conference Registration

8:00 AM – 11:45 AM

Technical Sessions

Orbit Determination 1 (Sapelo)

Rendezvous, Relative Motion, Formation Flight, and Satellite Constellations 1 (Ossabaw)

Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control 1 (Cumberland)

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

11:45 AM – 1:30 PM

Savannah Visitor's Bureau presentation to spouses and guests (Chippewa)

AIAA/AAS Joint TC Luncheon (Pulaski)

1:30 PM – 4:50 PM

Technical Sessions

Attitude Sensing, Estimation, and Calibration 1 (Sapelo)

IBEX Special Session (Cumberland)

Orbit Dynamics 1 (Ossabaw)

6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Brouwer Awards Dinner (Madison)

Tuesday, 10 Feb 2009


7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Speakers’ Breakfast (Pulaski)

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Conference Registration

8:00 AM – 11:45 AM

Technical Sessions

Low Thrust Mission and Trajectory Design (Sapelo)

Orbit Dynamics 2 (Cumberland)

Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control 2 (Ossabaw)

11:45 AM – 1:30 PM

AIAA TC Luncheon (Pulaski)

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Plenary Speaker (Ogelthorpe)

2:45 PM – 4:50 PM

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Technical Sessions

Attitude Dynamics and Control 1 (Cumberland)

Mission Design 1 (Sapelo)

Savannah Riverboat Cruise (boat departs 7pm)

Wednesday, 11 Feb 2009

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Speakers’ Breakfast (Pulaski)

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Conference Registration

8:00 AM – 11:45 AM

Technical Sessions

Advanced Attitude Control Sensors Special Session (Cumbeland)

Rendezvous, Relative Motion, Formation Flight, and Satellite Constellations 2 (Sapelo)

Trajectory Design and Optimization 1 (Ossabaw)

11:45 AM – 1:30 PM

1:30 PM – 4:50 PM

6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

AAS TC Luncheon (Pulaski)

Technical Sessions

Attitude Sensing, Estimation, and Calibration 2 (Cumberland)

Flight Dynamics Operations and Spacecraft Autonomy (Sapelo)

Optimization (Ossabaw)

Student and Young Professional Reception

Sponsored by the Georgia Institute of Technology Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

Thursday, 12 Feb 2009

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Speakers’ Breakfast (Pulaski)

8:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Conference Registration

8:00 AM – 12:10 PM

Technical Sessions

Mission Design 2 (Sapelo)

Orbit Determination 2 (Cumberland)

Tethers (Ossabaw)

11:45 AM – 1:30 PM

AFRL ASTRIA Workshop (Pulaski)

1:30 PM – 4:25 PM

Technical Sessions

Attitude Dynamics and Control 2 (Sapelo)

Trajectory Design and Optimization 2 (Ossabaw)

Register by 9 Jan 2009 and save $100!

In order to encourage early registration, we will implement the following rate structure. Note that the full registration fee is all-inclusive (social events, banquets, etc). Student and Retired registration fees include the Sunday Early-Bird Reception and the meeting breaks only. 


Early Registration

(through 9 Jan 2009)

Late Registration

AAS or AIAA Member










AFRL Workshop

Riverboat Ala-Carte Ticket





Telfair Art Museum Early Bird Reception - Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Early Bird Reception will be held in the Telfair Academy Building at the Telfair Art Museum from 6 - 9 PM on Sunday, February 8, 2009. The Telfair Academy Building is located at 121 Barnard St, about 0.5 miles from the Hilton Savannah DeSoto Hotel. Guests can walk to the museum in about 10 minutes through some of Savannah's historic squares and past many historic buildings. The Telfair Academy building features many fine works of art as well as the "Bird Girl" statue that was featured in the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." The reception will begin at 6pm and last until 9pm. 

Walking Directions:

In the map above, the main hotel entrance is located on Liberty Street betwen Bull and Dayton Streets. Head West on Liberty Street to Bull Street. Cross Liberty Street and proceed North on Bull Street. After one block (320 feet), Bull Street will come to a park square. Cross straight through the park and Bull Street will continue on the other side. Proceed another 2 blocks (0.1 miles) on Bull Street until you come to York Street (and another square). Turn left (heading West) onto York Street and walk 0.2 miles until you come to Barnard Street. The Telfair Academy Building will be on the northwest corner of the Telfair Square.

Google Map and Walking Directions

Guests that wish to drive from the hotel may utilize available street parking in the vicinity of the museum. There is no charge for parking at meters after 5:00 pm daily. You may also park for a nominal hourly charge in the Robinson Garage, located directly behind the Telfair Academy on Jefferson Street.

Savannah Visitor's Bureau presentation to spouses and other guests - Monday, February 9, 2009

On Monday morning, February 9, from 9:00 to 10:00, a representative of the Savannah Visitor's Bureau will speak to spouses and other guests of conference attendees in the Chippewa Room.

Brouwer Award Dinner - Monday, February 9, 2009


This year, we honor Dr. Bob Schutz as the Brouwer Award Winner. The title of Dr. Schutz's talk is From Geodesy to Satellite Geodesy (and Celestial Mechanics, and Orbit Determination, and ...). Each person paying a full registration fee for the conference will receive one (1) ticket for the Brouwer Award Dinner to be held on Monday, February 9, 2009 at the Hilton Savannah Desoto Atrium. Cocktails will be served at 6:30 PM and a Deluxe Southern Experience Dinner Buffet will be served starting at 7pm. Ala-carte tickets can be purchased for $50.

Student and Young Professional Reception - Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Please note the new time and location!!!


The Georgia Institute of Technology Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering has graciously provided for a FREE Student and Young Professional Reception on Monday, February 9, 2009 from 6:30 to 10:00 PM in the Hilton Savannah DeSoto Lion's Den Lounge. Come join us for a chance to network with friends and colleagues and learn about Georgia Tech's School of Aerospace Engineering. Hors D'oeuvres will be served free of charge in the upstairs section of the Lion's Den Lounge and the hotel bar will be available in the lower section.

Savannah Riverboat Dinner Cruise and Casino Night - Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Each person paying a full registration fee for the conference will receive one (1) ticket for the Savannah Riverboat Dinner Cruise on Tuesday, February 10, 2009. Ala-carte tickets may be purchased for $50. The boat has multiple decks, is completely enclosed, and has a maximum capacity of 240 people.  There should not be any problems accommodating everyone that wants to attend. Due to contractual obligations, tickets must be purchased 7 days in advance for adequate food to be provided. Registrations and ala-carte ticket purchases on or before February 2, 2009 will be guaranteed a ticket. At this time, no on-site ticket purchases will be allowed. Boarding begins at 6pm and the casino tables will be available starting at this time. The Riverboat will depart promptly at 7pm and the dinner buffet will be served after the boat is underway. Guests who miss the departure will not receive refunds.

A Cajun dinner buffet will be served and a cash bar will be provided. Guests are required to find their own way to the Riverboat docks which is located directly behind The Savannah Riverboat Ticket Office at 9 East River Street, directly behind City Hall and next door to the Hyatt Regency. This is a direct 0.6 mile walk from the Hilton Savannah Desoto along Drayton Street and the walk takes approximately 11 minutes.

For guests that choose to drive, parking is available in the public parking lots on River Street.  Parking is also available on the Bay Street level.  There is no charge for parking at meters after 5:00 pm daily.  The Bryan Street Parking Garage is conveniently located just two blocks from the Riverboat Ticket Office and has over 400 parking spaces available on an hourly fee basis.

Guests may also make use of the CAT Bus system. A free shuttle is available in the historic district but it will probably take over 30 minutes to go from the Hilton Savannah DeSoto to the Riverstreet area. Other more direct bus routes are available for a nominal charge (see below).

Each guest will receive $25,000 in “fun money” for use in playing the various games of chance. The idea is to build your winnings throughout the party in order to compete for prizes, which will be awarded after the tables close.

GAMING: There will be 9 Black Jack Tables, 1 Craps Table, 1 Roulette Wheel, and 1 Texas Holdem Poker Table. The tables will be open for approximately 2 hours. Use your initial stake to play the various games and build your winnings to buy chances on the prizes, which will be awarded at the close of the party. 

CHIPS: The values of the chips are as follows:

Purple $100.00 Black $1000

Orange $500.00 Gold $5000

BETS: Bets are limited to a maximum of $10,000 each.

PRIZES: At the end of the party, after the tables close, prizes will be awarded by random drawing. Tickets for the drawing can be purchased with chips or “fun money” at the cashiers stands for $10,000 each. Remember the higher your winnings, the greater the number of tickets you may purchase for the drawing and the better chance you have to win.


Special Event: AFRL ASTRIA WORKSHOP - Thursday, February 12, 2009

This workshop will be led by Moriba Jah of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Maui on Thursday from 12:00PM – 1:30PM. Cost is $25 and includes lunch. At this workshop,  you will learn what research areas are of interest to AFRL, how to engage AFRL in collaborative astrodynamics research efforts, and what potential funding streams are available.

A Brief Introduction

AFRL/RDSM has one of only two astrodynamics teams within the whole of AFRL. Astrodynamics as a science has suffered a large blow in resources due to the general perception that there are no unsolved astrodynamics problems.

Astrodynamics is the science that studies the behavior of both natural and artificial objects in space. To put it briefly, any force that affects both translation and rotation of a space object is an astrodynamics problem. Space Situational Awareness and Space Control have garnered high visibility as of late and are a top priority for national security. Satellite characterization, maneuver/change detection, space object identification, high accuracy orbit predictions/reconstructions, and multiple target/multiple sensor data fusion are a few challenging areas directly relevant to astrodynamics solutions. Ultimately, autonomous architectures are desired.

Part of my efforts to address these issues have led me to pursue the creation of the Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astrodynamics (ASTRIA) - a consortium of universities collaborating with AFRL via Educational Partnership Agreements to bring the best and brightest to one table and mutually solve these relevant SSA and Space Control problems.


The conference location is historic Savannah, Georgia.


The Hilton Savannah DeSoto is located in the heart of Savannah's historic district and is within walking distance of over 20 restaurants, entertainment, and many other attractions. A special conference room rate of $126 per night plus taxes and fees has been negotiated with the Hilton Savannah Desoto. You must reserve a room by January 9, 2009 to receive the conference room rate (regularly $180+). If you would like to extend your stay in Savannah, the conference room rate is available 3 days prior and 2 days post (depending upon availability). Please contact the hotel for special Valentine's Day weekend packages following the conference.

To make hotel reservations, click the link below or call (912) 232-9000 or 1-800-426-8483 or 1-800-HILTONS. 


Group Name:

American Astronautical Society

Group Code:


Hotel Name:

Hilton Savannah DeSoto

Hotel Address:

15 East Liberty Street


Savannah, Georgia



Google Map of Hotel

The Hilton Savannah DeSoto Hotel offers the finest deluxe guest rooms with either one king size bed or two Double beds. All rooms feature scenic views of Savannah historic skyline, hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, complimentary coffee daily with coffee makers, daily newspaper, complementary wireless internet, electronic lock entry system and valet services.

Check-In: 4:00 PM - Check-Out: 12:00 PM

Parking at the Hilton Savannah Desoto

Self Parking: 10.00 USD per day

Valet Parking: 12.00 USD per day

Getting There

You can easily fly into and out of Savannah via the Savannah International Airport ( Airport Code: SAV ) located about 12 miles from the historic district.

Directions to Hotel from Savannah International Airport (SAV)


Georgia and Florida airports that provide access to Savannah include:




Approx. distance to Savannah [mi]

Shuttle Service













Ground Transportation

Car rentals are available at all three airports listed above (Driving distances are as shown above). Shuttles are available from Savannah International Airport to hotels in the Historic District for approximately $15 one way and $25 round-trip. For a listing of ground transportation options and contact information at the Savannah International Airport, see the ground transportation website at http://www.savannahairport.com/groundtransport.php

While the AAS does not endorse any particular car rental company, Thrifty Car Rental has offered our conference participants a 10% discount. If you wish to take advantage of this offer, please visit the following link. http://www.thrifty.com/index.aspx?promotioncode=CORP1

Traffic laws
While driving in the Historic District, please remember:

  • Yield when approaching a square. Vehicles traveling around the square have the right of way.

  • Making a left turn from a divided street is permissible. So is a right turn on a red light.

City Parking
Find information all about the City's Visitor Day Pass, Disability Parking, Smart Cards, Metered Parking and Enforcement by looking through the City Parking Guide. City-owned and operated garage locations and details are also available in the guide for your convenience.

Chatham Area Transit (CAT) Bus System

Information: (912) 233-5767

CAT Bus Routes

List of Major Destinations

The DeSoto Hilton Hotel is serviced by routes 1, 11, and 14.

Points of Interest

City Market: All Buses except 6, 12, 13, 20

Factor's Walk: All Buses except 6, 12, 13, 20

Riverfront Plaza/River St.: All Buses except 6, 12, 13, 20

Savannah Civic Ctr: All Buses except 6, 12, 13, 20

Savannah Visitors Ctr: All Buses except 6, 12, 13, 20

State Farmers Market: 3B

U.S. Customs House: All Buses except 6, 12, 13, 20

Fixed Route

Cash Fare Each Boarding.................................... $1.00

Weekly CAT Card............................................... $12.00

*Monthly CAT Pass............................................. $48.00

*Available at CAT Offices, 900 East Gwinnett Street, and at CAT Central, 124 Bull Street. The CAT card is valid for multiple rides on regularly scheduled routes during the time specified on the card. The CAT card provides a discount to the frequent rider who regularly transfers. Note: A ride cannot exceed one round trip per bus.

Booklet of Ten Cash Advance Tickets................... $10.00

Available at CAT Offices located at 900 East Gwinnett Street, and at CAT Central, 124 Bull Street; tickets are not discounted.

CAT Shuttle............................................................Free

Elderly/Disabled Fare Each Boarding.........................50¢

Elderly/Disabled Tokens..............................20 for $10.00 (Use of tokens is optional)

Note: Elderly/Disabled passengers must show CAT ID card when boarding or present a Medicare Health Insurance Card issued pursuant to Sections II and XVIII of the Social Security Act.

Young Children: Children under 41" tall (height of most fareboxes) ride free. Only two young children per accompanying passenger may ride free.

Chatham Area Transit (CAT) Shuttle

CAT provides free transportation service on its downtown CAT Shuttle to and from hotels, inns, the Savannah Visitor’s Center and more than thirty stops throughout Savannah’s Historic District. This downtown CAT Shuttle makes several stops along Bay Street, close to the Savannah Belles Ferry landings. The CAT Shuttle also connects to the CAT fixed route bus system with options to destinations throughout Chatham County.

CAT Fare Free Shuttle Schedule and Route Map

Historic Savannah Information

Hip and historic, robust and refined, Savannah is where you'll find amazing architecture, spooky cemeteries and rich history—along with global sophistication, funky nightlife and fabulous food. Find tips, tour maps, restrooms, refreshments and smiles at any one of Savannah's comfortable Visitor Information Centers. 

Savannah Visitor Information Center
301 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Savannah, GA 31401
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

River Street Hospitality Center
1 River Street
Savannah, GA 31401
Daily 10 a.m.- 10 p.m.
Hours are subject to change depending on events and seasons.

Tybee Island Visitor Information Center
S. Campbell Ave. and Highway 80
Tybee Island, GA 31328
912.786.5444 or 800.868.BEACH(2322)
Daily 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Savannah Airport Visitor Information Center
464 Airways Avenue
Savannah, GA 31408
Daily 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

It's possible, and fascinating, to spend days simply strolling the nation's largest Landmark Historic District. But with so much more to see, you might opt for other transportation. Find it in the form of scooters, trolleys, buses, taxis or horse-drawn carriages by using the links below.

When the sun goes down.

Hear jazz and blues—or bluegrass. Go salsa or swing dancing. Sing along in a piano bar or puff away in a cigar bar. We don't roll up the sidewalks at sunset in this Southern town. Savannah offers evening tours, outdoor concerts and frequent fireworks and festivals, along with late-night hot spots. Theoretically, you could stay out all night—although we do suggest that you get some sleep to keep up with the daytime fun.

Arts & Culture

When a city itself is a work of art, it's not surprising to find it full of artistic and cultural offerings. One of the nation's oldest public museums, the Telfair Museum of Art, now includes a dazzling new complex facing Telfair Square. It's surrounded by a wonderland of historic architecture and it's only a short walk from the historic King-Tisdell Cottage, the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum and the birthplace of Girls Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low.

Also within walking distance are scores of art galleries from funky to sophisticated.

Just a short drive away, you can re-live colonial days at the Wormsloe Historic Site, track battles of the 19th century at Old Fort Jackson, Fort Screven and Fort Pulaski and see how aviation evolved at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum.

Savannah's Beach: Tybee Island

Tybee Island Information

Tybee Accommodations

Tybee Restaurants & Dining

Drive 20 minutes east of Savannah, through a few miles of wide sky and salt marshes. This is where you'll find Tybee Island — perhaps the most laid-back location on the southeastern coast.

Visit Tybee Island’s Official Web site.

On this uniquely charmed island, nature lovers mingle with movie stars, bird watchers with good ol' boys. Pirate raids are regular happenings. There are parties of epic proportions and silent beach sunrises. And everyone, from townie to tourist, watches out for the sea turtles. There are miles of beach; forts and museums and a great old lighthouse; endangered birds and other animal species; kayaks and bikes to rent (along with all kinds of hotels, motels and cottages, too).

Days are as active, or lazy, as mood demands. Local galleries, shops and restaurants offer changes of pace and taste. And, of course, historic Savannah's nearby.

This is the beautiful barrier island that ancient Indians named “salt” (“duh bee” in the old Euchee tongue)—and a place you'll wish that you, too, had discovered long ago.

Savannah Secrets

You’ve walked our streets and admired our beautiful parks, squares and mansions, but underneath the appealing aesthetics of this centuries old city are some historical accounts and quirky facts that helped to shape our nation.

The Pirates House, A famous Savannah restaurant, was actually a tavern frequented by pirates who sailed the Caribbean in 1794. Events at the Pirates House were the inspiration for Robert Lewis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the John Berendt novel about secrets, socialites and murder spent more than five years on the New York Times best-seller list holding the record for the longest running best-seller in history.

In 2002, the American Institute of Parapsychology named Savannah, “America’s Most Haunted City.” Based on Savannah’s history of fires, plagues, wars and voodoo, they determined Savannah was the perfect place for supernatural activity.

While admiring Savannah’s splendid architecture, you might start to notice a recurring color painted on the door frames, porches and window sills of many Savannah homes. This blue/green color, or “Haint Blue,” is not only aesthetically pleasing but has an important purpose, and that is to ward off evil spirits. “Haint Blue” paint was first used by African Slaves to secure entry-point into their houses from spirits. According to the Geechee/Gulla culture of the Lowcountry, the blue/green color of “Haint Blue” represents water which, it is believed, spirits can not pass over.

Five months after General Oglethorpe and the original settlers landed in Savannah, 42 Jewish refugees from Spain arrived in July 1733. This was the largest immigration of Jews at one time to the new world during the colonial period.

Florence Martus, born August 7, 1868, is a Savannahian whose understanding and application of the words “Southern Hospitality” brought her fame as the Waving Girl. Martus lived with her brother, lighthouse keeper George Martus, between 1887 and 1931 near the entrance of the Savannah harbor. During this time she would wave a welcome to each incoming ship and wave a goodbye to every outgoing vessel. During her years at the lighthouse, she greeted more than 50,000 vessels. A memorial to her legacy is located on Savannah’s Historic River Street.  This is the first memorial to a Georgia woman in any city park.

Tomochichi, Chief of the Yamacraw Indians, was rumored to stand over seven feet tall, have only one good eye and wear a cape of bear skin. Tomochichi is buried in Wright Square; a large boulder marks his resting place.

While the Spanish Moss that hangs from Savannah’s majestic oaks is a true reminder that you are in the romantic deep South, it does not make a great souvenir. Often undetectable by the naked eye, a small biting bug called a chigger makes Spanish Moss its home. During the early days of the Colony, residents often stuffed and bounded their mattresses with the soft and bountiful Spanish Moss only to wake up irritated and itchy after the tiny bugs invaded their slumber. As a result, a common phrase emerged in Savannah, and it was – “Goodnight neighbor, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Besides English, the other languages spoken in the early days of the colony were Indian languages, Spanish, Portuguese, Yiddish, French, Gaelic and German.

Savannah over the years has become the fictional home of some of the silver screen’s most memorable movies including “Forrest Gump,” “Roots,” “Gator,” “Glory,” “Something to Talk About,” “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” “Forces of Nature,” “The General’s Daughter,” and the Robert Redford golf epic, “Legend of Bagger Vance.” Hollywood loves Savannah because our beautiful Historic District and Low Country landscape make an instant movie set. While in Savannah take a movie tour and see the sights featured in some of pop culture’s favorite films.

In a study published by the Savannah Historic Foundation, one of the most admired preservation groups in the country, more than 40 percent of 2,500 buildings inventoried in Savannah had architectural or historical significance.

While wandering around Savannah, if you happen to take a stroll down St. Julian Street, you will notice you are walking on oyster shells. You have discovered Tabby. Tabby is a type of cement or plaster used for mortar, walls and walkways. Because limestone was not available along the coast, the colonists burned oyster shells and mixed the ash with sand and water to make cement.

The first movie shown at the Lucas Theater when it opened in 1921 was “Camille.” It starred silent film actor Rudolph Valentino.

When the Colony of Georgia was founded in 1733; Catholics, lawyers and hard liquor were banned. But considering that Savannah is now home to the largest celebration in the South honoring St. Patrick (an Irish Catholic Saint) and is famous for the “To-Go Cup” (thanks to the city’s liberal view on cocktails to-go); Savannah has obviously dropped all bans created long ago.

Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. was founded in Savannah in 1912 by a Savannah woman named Juliette Gordon Low. Her childhood home now serves as the Girl Scouts’ National Headquarters.

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife Observation and Photography

All dikes are open to foot travel during daylight hours, unless otherwise posted, and provide excellent wildlife observation points. Waterfowl are most abundant from November through February, while alligators and other reptiles are frequently seen from March through October. Birdwatching opportunities are good all year but are best from October through April when temperatures are mild and many species of waterfowl and other wintering birds are present.

Motorists are welcome on the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, off SC 170, which meanders along four miles of earthen dikes through managed freshwater pools and hardwood hammocks. The Cistern Trail and other walking routes are also available to the visiting public. From December 1 to February 28, entry into the impoundment area north of SC 170 is prohibited to reduce disturbance while wintering waterfowl numbers are at a peak.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

Environmental education programs and interpretive tours are available for school, civic and conservation groups by appointment only. These tours are generally given by trained refuge volunteers and therefore require a minimum of two-weeks notice. Interested parties should also be prepared to have alternative, acceptable tour dates. For further information or to schedule a program or tour, please contact the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex headquarters at (912) 652-4415.

Guided interpretive tours for individuals and families can also be arranged through our special use permit holders (fees may apply.) These are private, commercial or non-profit organizations that maintain a permit with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to conduct business on the refuge. Five such outfits hold permits for conducting guided interpretive tours at Savannah NWR:

Sea Kayak Georgia (912) 786-8732

Bull River Cruises (912) 898-1800

Coastal Journeys (912) 308-6050

Wilderness Southeast (912) 897-5108

Swamp Girls Kayak Tours (843) 784-2249

How do I get there?

Take GA Route 25 (East) out of Port Wentworth, GA, cross the Savannah River and you are on the refuge. Proceed three miles east and on the right is the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive.

Are there any costs associated with a visit?

There are no fees charged to visit the refuge.

What can I expect to see?

During the spring and fall, you will usually see many alligators sunning themselves on the banks of waterways, along with an assortment of wading birds. During the winter months, waterfowl and other migratory birds are visible in the impoundment system.

Is there a visitor center?

Currently, there is no visitor center; however, there is an informational kiosk where a refuge map and interpretive displays of the refuge can be viewed and written information can be obtained.

Are there any hunting and/or fishing opportunities?

Yes, fishing is allowed year-round in the creeks and rivers throughout the refuge. Fishing is also allowed within the impoundment system between March 1 and November 30 or each year. Bank fishing from the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive is permitted all year.