More than 95 acres of coastal land in Wareham, Mass., will be conserved under NOAA's Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program. Photo courtesy: Mass Audubon.
With the help of funding from NOAA's Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP), the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, in partnership with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, acquired a conservation easement of more than 95 acres (384 square kilometers) of important coastal land in Wareham, Mass.
The land was managed by the Congregation of Sacred Hearts as a healing center for decades. If conservation funding was not available, this land may have been sold to developers. The site includes extensive salt marsh, vernal pools, forested upland and freshwater wetlands that are home to several rare species. Contingent on CELCP funding, several adjacent land owners promised to donate or sell conservation easements on their own properties. As a result, this project will result in the preservation of more than 250 acres (1,012 square kilometers) in the area, creating an expansive corridor of ecologically valuable coastal land that will be protected in perpetuity.CELCP helps state and community partners conserve important coastal land that might otherwise be developed. CELCP was established in 2002 to protect coastal and estuarine lands considered important for their ecological, conservation, recreational, historical, or aesthetic values. The program provides state and local governments with matching funds to purchase significant coastal and estuarine lands, or conservation easements on such lands, from willing sellers. Lands or conservation easements acquired with CELCP funds are protected in perpetuity so that they may be enjoyed by future generations.