East Cooper land deal protects almost 400 acres of salt marsh, small island in Mount Pleasant

The Post and Courier
By David Slade
MOUNT PLEASANT — A land deal involving hundreds of acres of salt marsh and a small island on the north side of the Ben Sawyer causeway has doubled the amount of property protected by the East Cooper Land Trust.

The roughly 5-acre island along the Intracoastal Waterway and Conch Creek can be seen from the Ben Sawyer Bridge, north of Gold Bug Island. Like Gold Bug Island and Toler’s Cover, the island purchased by the East Cooper Land Trust was created years ago by dredge spoils.

“The property owners bought it 49 years ago with the intention of putting a marina there, but they were never able to get the permits,” said Land Trust Director Catherine Main. “Our thought is that we could potentially use it for educational purposes.”

He said the owners of the undeveloped island approached the club years ago, hoping to create a road across the marsh.

The East Cooper Land Trust purchase, Lapierre said, “would put the whole area into conservation.”

The marsh and marsh island acquired by the trust have been owned for decades by the Conch Creek Corp.

“We bought the property 49 years ago hoping to turn it into a marina,” said Robert Ragin, secretary of the corporation, in a statement. “Since that didn’t happen, we are pleased the property is permanently being conserved with the East Cooper Land Trust.”

Along with the marsh, which was privately owned through a King’s Grant, the East Cooper Land Trust deal involves 398 acres. The $238,800 purchase was made possible with a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant in partnership with Duck Unlimited Inc., Main said.

The land trust hopes to use the island to benefit the public, possibly as a site for education and research, kayak access, and protection of bird and fish habitat.

The boundaries of the property extend nearly 3,500 feet along the Ben Sawyer Boulevard causeway, and more than 3,000 feet along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Source: The Post and Courier

Monarch Butterflies on Sullivan’s Island

We were excited to hear from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife representative yesterday that one of our conserved properties, Station 9 on Sullivan’s Island, has maybe the most concentrated Monarch Butterflies they’ve seen in the state. U.S. Fish and Wildlife is tagging and releasing the butterflies to research their travel paths. We invite you to take your family and friends out to Station 9 to go and see these beautiful butterflies!

Catherine, Alison and Alex


Conch Creek islands and marsh conserved by East Cooper Land Trust

Moultrie News
By Daniel Shaughnessy OpEd

Travel along the meandering Conch Creek into the silent heart of the surrounding salt marsh, and there is no telling what impressions nature will reveal to you: the sunrise reflection through the salt myrtle, the guttural roll of a boat-tailed grackle in the morning, an ambrosial tang of pluff mud in the nostrils, or squadrons of dowitchers nesting in the cordgrass. While experiencing the untouched beauty of this land may seem rare, if Ben Sawyer Boulevard is part of your commute, you pass it by every day.

This biodiverse landscape is located north of the Intracoastal Waterway between Ben Sawyer Boulevard and Conch Creek, and it was recently acquired by the East Cooper Land Trust.

The property consists of salt marsh estuarine emergent wetland habitat and associated upland islands within the CAWS Waterfowl Focus area and along the Intracoastal Waterway. It currently provides habitat for breeding, migration, and wintering migratory birds in the coastal zone in South Carolina. Salt marsh is ranked as one of the most biologically productive ecosystems on earth, providing nursery grounds for many species of birds and fish, as well as vital wildlife habitat.

After visiting the site earlier this month, East Cooper Land Trust director Catherine Main commented on the property’s location, “It was striking to see the contrast between this seemingly pristine wildlife habitat and the surrounding urban environment in Mount Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island.” The trust’s stewardship of the property will help ensure the quality of the bird and fish habitat as human infrastructure continues to be built along the surrounding highland. The conservation effort will also maintain the integrity of the wetlands, which help mitigate potential flooding and protect water quality in the area by absorbing sediment runoff.

East Cooper Land Trust’s ownership of the property opens the potential for public benefit along the blueway for kayakers and collaborative educational programs. Another long-term option includes the installation and maintenance of a living shoreline oyster reef and restoration to a more natural state.

“This purchase will help ensure the preservation of the rural character of our coastal community,” Ms. Main said, “which is one of the primary goals of the East Cooper Land Trust.”

Source: Moultrie News

East Cooper Land Trust Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement

East Cooper Land Trust has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occurring this year on November 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the US) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

East Cooper Land Trust’s mission is to conserve natural spaces of our community and preserve the quality of life for current and future generations. They are using all of their resources to ensure our community remains a place where you’re proud to live, work and play. They use negotiation and compensation with landowners to achieve conservation. In addition to working with private landowners, they work with developers and municipalities to preserve the natural beauty of our coastal community.

Those who are interested in joining East Cooper Land Trust’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit eastcooperland.org/donate. For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website givingtuesday.org.

Farm supper raises funds for land conservation

Moultrie News


Fall in the Lowcountry is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy excellent food and music while helping conserve local land.

Join the East Cooper Land Trust (ECLT) at Thornhill Farm in McClellanville for the third annual “Harvest Feast” – a community farm supper for local land conservation – on Thursday, Nov. 9.

In 2014 East Cooper Land Trust acquired Thornhill Farm. This 94-acre farm will forever be agricultural and protected from subdivision. When farms are profitable and farming is valued, it decreases the threat of losing other farms to incompatible development.

For more information and to purchase your all-inclusive tickets, contact East Cooper Land Trust or go to their website at eastcooperland.org. Sponsors for the event include Buist, Byars & Taylor, On Forty-One, Seamon Whiteside & Associates and Stubbs Muldrow Herin architects.

East Cooper Land Trust is a community-supported nonprofit organization devoted to conserving natural spaces, thus the quality of life for current and future generations. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, ECLT has permanently conserved 18 properties and more than 380 acres.

Source: Moultrie News

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