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Conserving the Lynches River Watershed

Housed at Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Lynches River Conservation Fund supports and finances projects to improve the water quality and environmental soundness of the Lynches River watershed in South Carolina. To date, over 2,500 acres of land have been purchased or conserved through this project.

In 2018, SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) became the first grant recipient with an award of $270,000 to be used toward the purchase of 158.72 acres of a Flat Creek Conservation area. With this purchase, the area helps serve as a primary habitat for wildlife and a place for the public to use recreationally.

OceanaGold, the organization that made the first award possible through a generous donation, was thrilled to help fulfill the fund’s mission of improving the environment and water quality.

“OceanaGold is proud to be engaged with efforts to expand the Flat Creek Conservation Area,” said David Thomas, vice president of OceanaGold Haile Gold Mine in Kershaw, SC. “The additional land purchased by SCDNR, and their stewardship, contribute greatly to this significant area of Lancaster County.”

Recently, Congaree Land Trust and the McLeod family came together with the Lynches River Conservation Fund in a collaborative effort to conserve over 1,000 acres in the Lynches River watershed. The McLeod family settled in Lee County in the 1700s, and Frank McLeod, the landowner, said, “I am happy to know we are protecting unique forested land for future generations to enjoy.” Another grant award from the Lynches River Conservation Fund helped conserve three large tracts of land that are now protected and under conservation easement.

Mary Crockett, the Congaree Land Trust land protection director, spoke on the importance of the conservation easement, saying, “The conservation of these three large tracts within the Little Lynches and Lynches River watersheds will keep a significant forest ecosystem area intact forever, supporting habitat for many wildlife species, enhancing air and water quality, and sustaining the rural economy of our state.”

The Lynches River Conservation Fund Board consists of an elected official and representatives from Conservation Voters of South Carolina, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Winyah Rivers Foundation, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Federation and Haile Corporation.

More information about the Lynches River Conservation Fund can be found here.