The F. M. Kirby Foundation is pleased to celebrate 15 years of continuous partnership with Coastal Land Trust. Since its founding in 1992, Coastal Land Trust has fulfilled its mission of enriching the coastal communities of North Carolina through conservation and land stewardship by preserving 82, 245 acres of land to date. As an accredited regional land trust, the Trust saves the land most important to the ecological integrity of the North Carolina coast like barrier islands, coastal forests, wetlands, rare and threatened natural communities, habitat for endangered species, as well as land for nature parks and preserves, family farms, and sites of cultural significance. The Your Land campaign initiated by the Trust identified the 40 most endangered coastal lands with the goal to save them. Factors contributing to the selection of these specific parcels of land included the area’s ecological significance, biodiversity, landscape position, size, potential for public use, and degree of endangerment. This campaign marks the single largest conservation effort by the Trust to identify and protect land across North Carolina’s coastal plain. Because these lands include places that are among the most biologically diverse lands in the mid-Atlantic region, support threatened and endangered natural communities and wildlife, are valuable to local communities, and in immediate need of conservation, this campaign will contribute to both environmental conservation and community development.
Coastal Land Trust achieves its mission through several methods. The Trust acquires and protects land across a 31-county region of coastal North Carolina. They work closely with local, county, state and federal government agencies, as well as other conservation partners and private landowners, to protect important land in perpetuity and share the Trust’s expertise and resources to accomplish their goals. Once acquired, the Trust also restores habitat for wildlife and plan communities and manages habitat for long-term sustainability. To ensure that the environmental values of a given property are consistently upheld, Coastal Land Trust conducts annual site visits to monitor all conservation easements and preserves and maintains relationships with landowners. Violations to conservation agreements, if detected, are quickly addressed. Coastal Land Trust also values educating the community about its ecological heritage. Through virtual and in-person educational events, such as Flytrap Frolic and Pollinator Palooza, and partnerships with schools, Coastal Land Trust continues to serve its community not only by protecting important lands along its beloved coast, but by also educating North Carolina residents of all ages about the importance of land conservation and the unique natural resources that make North Carolina special.