Pee Dee River

The Open Space Institute, Pee Dee Land Trust and South Carolina Ports Authority Protect Little Pee Dee River Property

Image Credit: John Moore

DILLON, SC (August 15, 2018)—The Open Space Institute (OSI), the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) and Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT) today announced a major land conservation achievement aimed at improving the water quality of the Little Pee Dee River. The project will permanently protect 78 acres near the source of the 116-mile river. 

The “Little Pee Dee River” property, located outside the town of Dillon, SC, consists of forested wetlands important for wildlife, groundwater recharge and water quality. As a result of this important conservation project, the property will be permanently protected from future cutting or disturbance. Research has shown that intact watershed forests act as a natural filter to clean drinking water downstream and can moderate the flow of water, reducing the risk of flooding downstream.

Little Pee Dee River Property Photo 2 By Pee Dee Land Trust Image Credit: Pee Dee Land Trust

The protection of the Little Pee Dee River property was made possible through wetlands mitigation funding associated with the South Carolina Ports Authority’s new Inland Port Dillon. Under the structure of the acquisition, the property was secured by OSI and has been transferred to Dillon County, with Pee Dee Land Trust holding a conservation easement. 

“The unspoiled forests near the source of the Little Pee Dee River act as natural water filter.  By protecting this land, we are improving the river’s overall water quality for generations to come,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “We thank the South Carolina Ports Authority and Pee Dee Land Trust, and look forward to continuing to work with our talented conservation partners in South Carolina.”

“The Port is pleased to be part of the Dillon community and contribute to important conservation efforts, in addition to economic development activities, of the Pee Dee region,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome. “The protection of this property is reflective of the Port’s ongoing commitment to responsible environmental operations.”

“PDLT proudly partnered with OSI, SCPA and Dillon County to fulfill the SC Ports Authority’s mitigation requirements for the development of the inland port in Dillon,” said Lyles Cooper Lyles, Executive Director of PDLT. “The conservation easement on this significant resource is a good example of PDLT’s mission to conserve land in the Pee Dee Watershed while serving as a partner to complement economic development and contribute to the improvement of quality of life needs for our area.”

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