Greenville, S.C. and Durham, N.C. – Nearly 5,500 acres of wetlands, critical pocosin, Carolina bay, bottomland hardwood forests, and Long Bay and Salters Creek water frontage have been acquired by the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust (NCCLT) in partnership with Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC). The project was made possible thanks to the support of a multiple funding entities, including the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (“the Fund”).
Referred to as Salters Creek landing, the property lies adjacent to the Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge and across Long Bay from the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS)-Cherry Point’s Piney Island military installation. The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program considers the property, along with the neighboring Cedar Island National Wildlife refuge, to be a natural area of exceptional ecological significance. This project will conserve habitat for 23 rare plants and animals including five federally listed species, three federal species of concern along with 15 state species of concern.
“If you take a boat from the landing off Highway 12 at Salters Creek and head north, you will travel over 17 miles to navigate this amazing property and you will see estuarine marsh tucked in tidal creeks fringed with maritime forest. Wildlife abounds and all sorts of waterfowl from diving ducks to tundra swans as well as herons, egrets, rails and shorebirds can be spotted in the marsh and mudflats. The beautiful pocosin, Carolina bay and bottomland forests are host to a barrage of birds and mammals” stated Janice Allen, Deputy Director for the NCCLT.
The project will protect a large portion of the Atlantic Natural Area located along NC Highway 12. NCCLT plans to transfer approximately 5,170 acres to NC Wildlife Resources to be managed as public game lands and adjacent to a public boat ramp. NCCLT will retain 311 acres to be managed as a nature preserve.
This conservation initiative will conserve a diversity of wetland and upland forests and habitats in a growing conservation corridor through a military, state, and non-profit partnership. According to the climate model from one of the largest U.S. conservation organizations, the property ranks above average for climate resiliency. “The conservation of critical forests requires the involvement of multiple actors from across the public, private, and nongovernment sectors; both to secure the opportunities and to carry out the conservation work needed to protect these cherished landscapes now and into perpetuity” said Carlton Owen, President and CEO of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities which administers the Fund.
The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund was launched in December of 2015 by Enviva, the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets. After three years of a planned 10-year partnership, 17 projects have been funded, committing more than $2.0 million. When these projects are completed, an estimated 24,500 acres of sensitive wetland forest and other habitats will have been protected.
About North Carolina Coastal Land Trust
Founded in 1992, the mission of the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust is to enrich the coastal communities of North Carolina through conservation of natural areas and working landscapes, education, and the promotion of good land stewardship. The Coastal Land Trust has become the largest land trust geographically in the state of North Carolina, serving 31 counties along the entire coastal plain. The Coastal Land Trust is committed to saving and restoring special places in the coastal plain like barrier islands, nature parks and preserves, family farms, and longleaf pine forests. To learn more about the Coastal Land Trust, please visit their website at www.coastallandtrust.org.
About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund
The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva Holdings, LP in December 2015 to permanently protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests. Administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects in North Carolina and Virginia. The next grant cycle will begin in late 2019. To learn more about the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, please visit envivaforestfund.org.
About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.
For more information contact:
Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President, 205-792-8650, firstname.lastname@example.org