More than just a stunning landscape, Cotton Hall in South Carolina’s Lowcountry represents a critical linkage between two major East Coast watersheds. And thanks to a joint endeavor between the Open Space Institute (OSI) and Beaufort County, where the land is located, the 527-acre property is now permanently protected.
Cotton Hall connects the Slater/Buckfield Assemblage, a 12,000-acre expanse protected by OSI and The Nature Conservancy, and other privately protected properties within the vast Port Royal Sound watershed and the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin. The ACE Basin is notably home to one of the East Coast’s largest undeveloped estuaries and one of the Southeast’s most expansive wetland ecosystems. “Together, these growing conservation successes prove that despite mounting development pressure along South Carolina’s coast, large-scale conservation for nature and the public is both achievable and critically important,” says Nate Berry, OSI’s Chief Land Protection Officer.
Featuring a historic homesite, large saltwater pond, biologically diverse bottomland hardwoods, dramatic flooded impoundments, and mature upland forests, Cotton Hall is fronted by several miles of road canopied by stately trees. Preservation of the land creates Beaufort County’s first passive park in the ACE Basin. Now forever protected, the land will be publicly accessible for recreational activities, including fishing and hiking.