Sapelo Island is a state-protected barrier island located in McIntosh County, Georgia. The island is accessible only by boat; the primary ferry comes from the Sapelo Island Visitors Center in McIntosh County, Georgia, a seven-mile (11 km), twenty-minute trip. It is the site of Hog Hammock, the last known Gullah community. It is illegal to visit the island without a permit issued by state tourism authorities.
Approximately 97 percent of the island is owned by the state of Georgia and is managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources; the remainder is under private ownership. The western perimeter of Sapelo is the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR) which is part of NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve system (NERR). The University of Georgia Marine Institute, which is focused on research and education, is located on 1,500 acres (610 ha) on the south end of the island. The Reynolds Mansion, a Georgia State Park, also lies on the south end of the island. Visitors to the island must be a part of an organized tour or guests of residents on the island.
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