Hunting Island retains its colonial designation of the "Hunting Islands", which served as hunting preserves for Lowcountry planters and elite in the 19th and early 20th century.
Since 1980, Hunting Island has suffered major beach erosion as a result of heavy tides from the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and Saint Helena Sound, and is expected to shrink in size by ten per cent over the next forty years. The interior lagoon has become a natural wonderland and home to such species as seahorses and barracuda.
Each year, dozens gather to watch all the hatched eggs of the Loggerhead Turtle walk out to the ocean. The event is protected by the park rangers.