Basin Area

The COWASEE Basin covers over 315,000 acres in the midlands of South Carolina and includes the Congaree, Wateree and upper Santee Rivers.

The 24,000-acre Congaree National Park is the heart of the basin and is home to the largest old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the eastern United States.




A Voluntary Collaboration

The focus area is a priority waterfowl restoration area where many partners are implementing research and management to improve waterfowl habitat and populations. Staff from the S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service band mallards as part of a waterfowl monitoring project.

The Basin...

What was once one of the largest delta-forming rivers on the east coast begins in the mountains of North Carolina. Throughout its course many rivers merge and flow into the Congaree and Wateree Rivers, which join to form the Santee River, continuing to the Atlantic Ocean. This huge river system has carved the landscape over thousands of years to create vast floodplain forests, high bluffs, fertile soils, forests and rare or endangered species and beauty beyond description.

“Protecting and enhancing the quality of life in South Carolina is incredibly important to ensuring South Carolina’s competitive edge in this global economy. I support the COWASEE Basin efforts to encourage private landowners to voluntarily practice resource conservation to enhance the quality of life in the Midlands area and create a legacy of stewardship for future South Carolinians.”

Governor Mark Sanford, 2006