Cooper/Wando Initiative

Total acres: 5,270

The CAWS (Cooper, Ashley, Wando, and Stono Rivers) Basin Focus Area covers approximately 800,000 acres of the Tri-County Region surrounding the Charleston Metropolitan Area. The CAWS Basin contains a large variety of coastal plain habitat, including pine uplands, estuaries and extensive wetland and river systems. This Focus Area is sub-divided into three initiative areas: the Ashley River Initiative, the Cooper-Wando Initiative and the Sea Islands Initiative.

The Cooper-Wando Initiative covers a predominantly rural area also rich in historic significance, particularly related to rice culture history. It has important ecological significance as well, including extensive longleaf pine forests and wetland systems in and around the Francis Marion National Forest. Today, timber production is a vital economic activity. Industrial land uses and suburban residential pressure pose the greatest threat to the natural resources within the Cooper-Wando Initiative.

The combined efforts of landowners, public agencies and private conservation organizations resulted in the protection of 201,000 acres in the CAWS Basin Focus Area. The Lowcountry Land Trust protects 283 properties, covering 107,536 acres of natural, scenic and rural land. 14 of these properties are int he Cooper/Wando Initiative area, totaling 5,270 acres. The majority of the Land Trust's work in Cooper/Wando has been concentrated along the East Branch of the Cooper River in the National Historic District.

Cooper/Wando Initiative (CAWS Basin Focus Area) Area Protected
Awendaw Creek Cottages, Awendaw Creek 13 acres
Blessing Plantation, East Branch Cooper River 188 acres
Girl Scout Plantation, East Branch Cooper River 153 acres
Halidon Hill Plantation, East Branch Cooper River 251 acres
Hanlin Tract, Awendaw Creek 32 acres
Hell Hole, Huger 93 acres
Kensington Plantation I and II, East Branch Cooper River 224 acres
Keystone, Berkeley County 1,682 acres
Longwood Plantation, East Branch Cooper River 377 acres
Middleburg Plantation, East Branch Cooper River 326 acres
Midway Plantation, East Branch Cooper River 1,275 acres
Parkers Island, Wando River 99 acres
Silk Hope Plantation, East Branch Cooper River 557 acres