The Port Royal Sound Area includes the network of high salinity tidal rivers and tidal creeks that are connected to Port Royal Sound and Calibogue Sound. It also encompasses all the surrounding land that drains into these tidal creeks and rivers. On maps, Port Royal Sound is the body of water between northern Hilton Head Island and southern Saint Helena Island. Based on depth and size, Port Royal Sound should also apply to the area named the “Broad River.”
Calibogue Sound is between southern Hilton Head Island and Daufuskie Island. Both Port Royal and Calibogue sounds are included in the Port Royal Sound Area because they function as one ecological system. They have very similar water chemistry (high salinity), there is a strong, daily exchange of water and nutrients between the two, and the same populations of fish and other large predators readily move between the two areas. The Port Royal Sound Area is bordered to the north by the ACE Basin, specifically the Combahee-Salkahatchie River and its tributaries, and to the south by the Savannah River and its tributaries.
The Port Royal Sound Foundation, with support from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, developed an interactive map to highlight the watersheds of the Port Royal Sound Area. There are many unique features that create habitats for animals and plants in our tidal creeks and rivers. These characteristics make the Port Royal Sound Area a diverse and extremely important place along the Atlantic shoreline. We invite you to visit these locations (click on the watershed name on map) so you may learn what makes these areas special.