Vision for Regional Conservation: Healthy Lands Sustaining Healthy People

Together we must protect the landscapes that define our way of life.
The time to plan for the future is now.
The next generation is counting on us.

Community Vision Background

The Lowcountry vision is a product that was developed by and came from the community. This vision shared by a diverse population of residents. It reflects their voices, their input, and their commitment to keep the special places of the Lowcountry intact for generations to come. We are honored to have worked with so many Lowcountry stakeholders to help develop this community-based conservation vision.

The vision of the Lowcountry is shared by our entire community, and so is the responsibility for making it happen. The Lowcountry Land Trust draws its purpose from the community's commitment to preserve and protect our most important places.

Read more about the Community Vision Background

The History

There is a network of approximately 1 million acres of irreplaceable natural, cultural, and historic lands that have been protected in the Lowcountry. Places such as the ACE Basin, Four Holes Swamp, the Ashley River Historic District, and the Cooper River will remain as they are for generations to come. It is hard to underestimate the value that all South Carolinians hold for these revered lands.

This impressive catalog of protected properties is due to the collective efforts of conservation organizations, government agencies, elected officials and private individuals. The dedicated agencies and individuals worked together to leverage private donations and local, state and federal funding and incentives to maximize protected lands.

1985 Map
2010 Map

Maps showing the change in protected lands from 1985 to 2010 (shown in green). Note also the growth of urbanized areas in the Lowcountry (shown in red).

The Opportunity

The Lowcountry Land Trust is proud to be a partner in this effort of safeguarding our natural resources. Protecting traditional land uses such as agriculture, timber, livestock and recreation maximizes our natural resources and benefits our economy without adding infrastructure. In short, properties critical to our economy, environment and community's well-being are worth protecting.

To Promote Our Economy

  • 4.8 million acres of farmland and roughly 13 million acres of forestland across South Carolina are economic drivers.
  • Studies show the combined impact of the agriculture, forestry, outdoor recreation and tourism sectors accounts for one-third of the state's economy, over $54 billion and 463,000 jobs, or one out of three jobs in the state.
  • Fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing alone have an estimated combined annual economic impact of about $3.7 billion and 58,000 jobs.

Sources: Miley and Gallo,The Economic Impact of Agriculture & Forest Industry in South Carolina (2008) and Green Means Green. USC Moore School of Business Report, The Economic Impact of Agribusiness and the Return on the Certified South Carolina Grown Campaign (April 2010).

To Protect Our Quality of Life

  • Water Quality
  • Air Quality
  • Wildlife habitats
  • Outdoor Recreational Areas
  • Public accessibility of protected landscapes via waterways, roadways and vistas
  • Balanced population growth with preserved open space
  • Historic and Cultural landscape preservation

Vision Overview

Every Part of our community is connected. Our community depends on a strong economy, thoughtfully developed cities and towns, healthy natural resources and beautiful outdoor places nearby where we can learn and play. We need all of these important pieces stitched together seamlessly across a beautiful, natural landscape. Every one of these critical components depends on the protection of natural landscapes of the Lowcountry for each to be successful. If these landscapes disappear, so do our prospects for maintaining health and prosperity in every other facet of our community.

Components of the Vision

  • Vital and Diverse Rural and Urban Economies
  • Balance of Natural Lands and the Built Environment
  • Natural Resource Protection
  • Educational Outdoor Opportunities

Get Involved

Our simple vision - healthy lands sustaining healthy people - is not a simple task. We welcome everyone in our community who recognizes the importance of these special lands to their family, to their business, to their way of life. We seek your guidance and your support and your continuing commitment to keep this vision fresh and vital in every major decision facing our community.