The Ebb & Flow BLOG

109 Acres Protected Forever at Santee Delta Plantation

Lowcountry Land Trust is excited to share that it completed a significant conservation easement spanning 109 acres at Santee Delta Plantation in 2023. This easement was made possible through a bargain sale agreement with landowner John Keith and support from the South Carolina Conservation Bank. This collaboration again showcases the effectiveness of both private and public partnerships in conservation.

Situated within the Santee River Basin, Mr. Keith’s property holds immense ecological significance. It adjoins the 1,700-acre Stewart’s Neck conservation easement held by Lowcountry Land Trust, forming a contiguous block of protected land crucial for riverine and wildlife habitat conservation. The diverse landscape features forested areas, open fields, ponds, managed impoundments, and approximately 4,760 linear feet of the Santee River headwater streams, providing vital resources for various plant and animal species.

The proximity of Santee Delta Plantation to the treasured Santee Delta ecosystem, the largest river delta on the Atlantic Coast, underscores its importance in regional conservation efforts. Less than 10 miles downstream, the delta is renowned for its biodiversity and recreational opportunities, including fishing, hunting, and birdwatching. Over 52 contiguous miles of the Santee River are protected, showcasing South Carolina residents’ collective commitment to preserving this invaluable natural treasure.

Key conservation values of this project include protecting open space for sustainable agriculture and forestry, preserving natural habitat and biological diversity, and enhancing the downstream water quality of Cedar Creek, Toby Creek, Wadmacon Creek, and the Santee River. Additionally, the easement serves as a buffer for the Stewart’s Neck conservation easement, further enhancing its ecological resilience.

Owner John Keith’s dedication to conservation is evident in his commitment to this project. As a primary resident of the upstate region, he chairs the board of partner land trust, Upstate Forever, demonstrating his passion for preserving South Carolina’s natural landscapes for future generations. We are deeply grateful to him and the South Carolina Conservation Bank for their unwavering support of conservation efforts in the Santee River Basin.