The Coastal Land Trust is delighted to announce that yesterday afternoon they closed on our first land conservation project. This project was made possible with the money from the new Croatan Protection Fund. The Croatan Protection Fund was created from the $7 million the Coastal Land Trust, received from a settlement between N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Sierra Club, over the State’s proposed U.S. 70 Havelock Bypass that goes through the Croatan National Forest. Yesterday, the Coastal Land Trust used some of these funds, along with a generous grant from Fred and Alice Stanback, to purchase a 113 acre property. It features a gorgeous longleaf pine forest, pocosin wetlands, and about ½ mile of frontage along Gales Creek, a scenic tidal creek that empties into Bogue Sound near Newport. This spectacular property will be added to the Coastal Land Trust’s Gales Creek Nature Preserve, which abuts a portion of the Croatan National Forest, off Sam Hatcher Road, in Carteret County. With this acquisition, the Coastal Land Trust’s Gales Creek Preserve now totals over 367 acres! This Preserve is regularly used and enjoyed by the East Carolina Council of Boy Scouts of America and Camp Albemarle. “We are thrilled that the Coastal Land Trust is carrying out the objectives of the settlement fund–to conserve longleaf pine forest and habitat for rare plant and animal species in and around the Croatan National Forest,” said Cassie Gavin, Sierra Club’s Director of Government Relations, in Raleigh, NC. The Coastal Land Trust is also thrilled about this newest addition to their conservation lands!
Many thanks also to Arey Grady and Ann Buckner, at Sumrell, Sugg, Carmichael, Hicks & Hart, P. A., for their assistance in this closing.