Satilla River

The Satilla River rises in Ben Hill County, Georgia, United States, near the town of Fitzgerald, and flows in a mostly easterly direction to the Atlantic Ocean. Along its approximately 235-mile (378 km)[1] course are the cities of Waycross, Waynesville, and Woodbine. The Satilla drains almost 4,000 square miles (10,000 km2) of land, all of it in the coastal plain of southeastern Georgia. It has white sandbars and is the largest blackwater river situated entirely within Georgia.[2][3] The Satilla enters the Atlantic Ocean about 10 miles (16 km) south of Brunswick, at the 31st parallel north. Satilla River Marsh Island[4] The river derives its name from a Spanish officer named Saint Illa, and over time the name was corrupted to form the word Satilla. French explorer Jean Ribault named the river the Somme when he encountered it in 1562. The river was later given the name Aisne by Jacques le Moyne.[5]

Satilla River, south of Douglas, GA, US.jpg
Satilla River, south of Douglas, Georgia
CountryUnited States
CountyBen Hill, Ware, Brantley, Camden, Glynn
Physical characteristics
 • location
Atlantic Ocean
 • coordinates
30°59′1″N 81°27′29″W / 30.98361°N 81.45806°W / 30.98361; -81.45806Coordinates: 30°59′1″N 81°27′29″W / 30.98361°N 81.45806°W / 30.98361; -81.45806
 • elevation
0 ft (0 m)
Satilla River Waterfront Park and the U.S. Route 17 bridge in Woodbine, Georgia


The Satilla River is one of the few places in Georgia for observing nesting sites of brown pelicans.[6]

In May 2010, the city of Waycross purchased the Bandalong Litter Trap and installed it in Tebeau Creek, a tributary of the Satilla River. The trap was invented in Australia, but is manufactured in the United States by Storm Water Systems. Although the city has maintained a good standing with the Environmental Protection Division, the city wanted to take action to reduce the amount of human generated trash entering the Satilla River and, ultimately, the Atlantic Ocean.[7]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, accessed April 21, 2011
  2. ^ Welander, Suzanne; Sehlinger, Bob; Otey, Don (2005). A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to Georgia. Menasha Ridge Press. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-89732-558-5. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Satilla River
  4. ^ St. Andrew Sound and Satilla River, NOAA Chart 11504
  5. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1999). Georgia Place-names (PDF). Macon, Georgia: Winship Press. p. 199. ISBN 9780915430000.
  6. ^ Sherr, Evelyn B. (2015). Marsh Mud and Mummichogs: An Intimate Natural History of Coastal Georgia. U. Of Georgia Press. p. 154.
  7. ^ Storm Water Solutions Magazine,, May 26, 2010. "Georgia’s First Bandalong Litter Trap Launched

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