Charleston County, SC –Lowcountry Land Trust has successfully recorded a conservation easement protecting 87 acres of pristine land on Wadmalaw Island in Charleston County. The property owner, Pat Ilderton, generously donated a conservation easement to ensure the permanent protection of this vital piece of land.
The newly protected property is located within the 800,000-acre Cooper, Ashley, Wando, and Stono Rivers (CAWS) Basin Focus Area, a region known for its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife. This area has faced unprecedented development in recent years, leading to the loss of critical ecosystems, wetlands, natural forests, wildlife habitats, and prime forests and farmlands.
Wadmalaw Island is part of the Sea Islands sub-region within the CAWS Basin Focus Area, where a focused conservation program aims to preserve the landscape and its traditional rural uses. With over 29,000 acres of public and private protected lands in this sub-region, protecting the 87-acre property further contributes to the conservation efforts in the area.
The protected property encompasses diverse natural habitats for various flora and fauna species, including upland forests, open fields, hummock islands, maritime edges, and forested wetlands. Additionally, the property’s forests and wetlands enhance water quality, act as floodwater abatement areas, and trap suspended sediment, contributing to the health of Leadenwah Creek and the North Edisto River.
Furthermore, the property’s visibility from Maybank Highway and Leadenwah Creek contributes to the rural scenic character of the region. Its proximity to other Lowcountry Land Trust-protected lands, including Selkirk Plantation, Brambleberry, Sheldon Farms, Thompson Tract, Camp Ho Non Wah, Morgan Tract, and Rosebank-Bogle Plantation, strengthens the protective wildlife corridor in the area, enhancing its overall ecological significance.
Ashley Demosthenes, President and CEO of Lowcountry Land Trust, expressed her gratitude, saying, “We are immensely thankful to Pat Ilderton for deciding to protect this valuable piece of land on Wadmalaw Island. By securing this conservation easement, we preserve critical wildlife habitat and protect the region’s natural beauty for future generations.”
Protecting the 87-acre property is a testament to the dedication of private landowners, conservation organizations, and government agencies to safeguarding and enhancing the region’s natural beauty and ecological integrity. Lowcountry Land Trust remains committed to partnering with landowners and local stakeholders to permanently protect land throughout coastal South Carolina and ensure that the soul of the Lowcountry—its renowned landscapes, vibrant waterways, diverse ecosystems, and thriving communities—is safeguarded in perpetuity.