Grand Bay Savanna Preserve Updated:04/2023

This bioreserve is contained in Mississippi and Alabama. The boundary line for this 26,900-acre preserve is drawn open ended going across the state line. The southern boundary follows the outermost extent of the salt and brackish marsh communities. The northern and western boundaries follow the Escatawpa River and portions of the abandoned course of the Escatawpa River. The acreage sited is an estimated figure. This preserve is one of the largest expanses of Gulf Coastal Savanna remaining in relatively undisturbed condition. There are open herbaceous communities dominated by grasses and sedges with scattered/clumped shrubs and trees. During the wet season the water table is at or near the surface and during the dry season natural wild fires occur. The mesohaline area of the Bangs Lake Estuary consists of a mosaic of low, mid-level, and high marsh, including salt pans. The low marsh is dominated by smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) that may occur as narrow bands along creeks and channels and as larger patches of tall (1 m) and short (20-30 cm) plants. The mid-level marsh is composed primarily of needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) mixed with saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) and dominates the area. The upper portion of Bangs Lake consists primarily of oligohaline mid-level needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) dominated marshes. Narrow disjunct bands of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) occur along the creeks and channels. The mesohaline area of West Bangs Lake estuary consist of a mosaic of low, mid-level, and high marsh, including salt pans. Pure stands of Distichlis may be found scattered across the marsh along with narrow salt pans associated with "high spots" in the marsh. Gulf cordgrass (Spartina spartinae) is commonly found along the edges of these pans. The oligohaline, Upper Bangs Lake/Grand Bay area consists primarily of mid-level needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) dominated marshes. Narrow, disjunct bands of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) occur along the creeks and channels. High marsh salt pans are also present and include rush (Juncus), saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), and gulf cordgrass (Spartina spartinae). This is a high priority site. It supports numerous orchids and insectivorous plants and has high species diversity having 20-25 (36) species in .25 square meters. Poorly working septic systems and encroaching construction are threats to ecological integrity. Boaters and anglers use the area on occasional and seasonal basis for waterfowl hunting (sparingly) and fishing.


Contact Grand Bay Savanna Preserve

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Contact Grand Bay Savanna Preserve


1141 Bayview Avenue
Biloxi, MS  39530
Phone: (228) 374-5000
Cell Phone: (228) 523-4115


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Mobile County, Alabama
  • Jackson County, Mississippi