The work of SCLT has focused on four principal areas:
- PRESERVING SUSSEX COUNTY’S RICH AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE
Preserving privately owned productive agricultural land ensures a stable land base for the future of Delaware’s number one industry – Agriculture. Farmland preservation is an important investment in the farming heritage of Sussex County, the economy, and our overall quality of life. SCLT has partnered with the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation and Sussex County Council to permanently protect over 2,000 acres of prime farmland in Sussex County. Approximately $800,000 in private donations by SCLT leveraged over $3 million in matching County, State and Federal funding.
Ron MacArthur Photo
- PROTECTING IMPORTANT FOREST HABITAT
Forests provide critical habitat for many plant and animal species native to lower Delaware. As more than 40 percent of Delaware’s native flora are forest-dependent species, forest conservation is vital to conserving Sussex County’s biodiversity. SCLT, working in cooperation with other non-profit conservation organizations and Sussex County, has worked to purchase almost 2,000 acres of prime forested habitat. These acquisitions include a 908 acre track constituting one of the largest forested areas remaining on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Ponders Tract of the Pemberton Forest Nature Preserve
- PRESERVING SUSSEX COUNTY HISTORY
With almost 12,000 known historic and cultural resources, protection and interpretation of the County’s diverse history is critical in the face of continued development. In 2009, SCLT acquired the Ickford property near Seaford, which includes the historic Cannon Masten house. The Ickford tract was first patented in 1698. The Cannon Masten house, which dates to 1714, stands as one of the oldest structures in the region. In eastern Sussex County, SCLT has worked in partnership with Delaware State Parks to renovate the historic 1880’s Wolfe House, which will be used for both public programming and SCLT’s headquarters. SCLT has raised over $600,000 for these projects.
Cannon Masten House
- PROTECTING PRIVATE LAND THROUGH CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
SCLT holds conservation easements on over 500 acres of ecologically rich wetlands along the inland bays of Delaware. Negotiated donations of easements have been accompanied with management endowments. These funds allow SCLT to carefully monitor and ensure the long-term health of these important coastal Sussex habitats.