North Carolina Coastal Land Trust

“The Coastal Land Trust is fortunate to have a working partnership with the Town of Navassa to pursue Gullah-Geechee and other places that are conservation priorities for African-American communities in the region, and the support of The Orton Foundation and others in this work. We are so very fortunate to have them in the neighborhood!” – Camilla Herlevich, Executive Director

North Carolina Coastal Land Trust works with landowners to save special lands exclusively in North Carolina’s coastal plain. Since 192, the Coastal Land Trust has helped saved 68,000 acres of land in coastal North Carolina – beaches that have become state parks, streams that provide clean water, forests that are havens for wildlife, working farms that provide local food, and beautiful nature parks for everyone to enjoy.

In December 2016, the Coastal Land Trust completed its first new conservation easement in more than a decade in the Town Creek watershed, a key tributary of the lower Cape Fear River and a priority for the Coastal Land Trust. The conservation easement protects a 57-acre parcel on Slab Branch in Brunswick County, and was donated by Marty Lanier and his family.

The Coastal Land Trust is pursuing even more ambitious acquisitions in the region, seeking grants from mitigation funds and other sources, for projects that could result in the protection of 1,000 acres, adding to the 17,000 acres along the lower Cape Fear River in Brunswick County already protected.

While everyone knows that the Venus Flytrap thrives in southeastern North Carolina, it’s actually the “poster child” for a whole treasure chest of special plants and wildlife, many connected to the longleaf pine forests that once defined the region. In fact, the Cape Fear Corridor, and Brunswick County in particular, is a “hotspot” of nature—its waters, wetlands and forests all supply rich habitat for wildlife, and the lands along its banks are equally rich in historic, cultural, and recreational values.

Father and son kayaking at Brunswick Family Fun Day 2015 in Brunswick Nature Park
Father and son kayaking at Brunswick Family Fun Day 2015 in Brunswick Nature Park

The Cape Fear’s historic and cultural resources are also important to both The Orton Foundation and the Coastal Land Trust, especially the effort to preserve places that are significant to the Gullah-Geechee people and their descendants. The Orton Foundation was proud to provide support for Brunswick Family Fun Day 2015 in Brunswick Nature Park, with outdoor activities for all and a special Gullah-Geechee program.

“Thanks to The Orton Foundation, we had a GREAT Family Fun Day at Brunswick Nature Park. The weather was warm and gorgeous. We had a very diverse crowd of about 500, who enjoyed kayaking, off-road biking, getting up close with owls and raptors, and hiking in the pines! Thank you so much for your support of this great event!” – Camilla Herlevich, Executive Director