ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve

Alligators lying in the sun
Alligators in the sun

The ACE (Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto) National Estuarine Research Reserve is a 94,641-acre property surrounding St. Helena Sound, one of the last undeveloped estuarine areas on the Atlantic Coast. The sound is fed by the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Rivers, creating a wondrous ecosystem among the fresh and brackish water impoundments, swamps, sloughs and marine forests of the area.

The Research Reserve was implemented to protect and preserve the abundant wildlife, natural beauty and unique cultural heritage of the region. The reserve also preserves habitat crucial to the loggerhead sea turtle, shortnose sturgeon, wood stork and bald eagle.

An aerial view above Pine Island
An aerial view above Pine Island