How We Save Land

The Coastal Land Trust saves land exclusively in North Carolina’s coastal plain. We save beaches that become state parks, streams that provide clean water, forests that are havens for wildlife, working farms that provide local food, and beautiful nature parks for everyone to enjoy. In our first twenty five years, we’ve saved tens of thousands of acres of land. Our staff focuses on saving and restoring special places, like barrier islands, nature parks and longleaf pine forests.  But how do we do it?

Conservation Agreements

Also known as an “easement”, this is a legal agreement between the private land owner and the Coastal Land Trust that places permanent restrictions on the land and its uses to permanently protect the special characteristics of the property. Conservation easements remain with the land, regardless of ownership in the future, which is why they are powerful tools to protect land – forever.


Preserves are conserved properties owned and managed by the Coastal Land Trust for public use and managed for conservation purposes.  Check out a few of our preserves:

Springer’s Point, Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden, and Everett Creek Preserve

The ABCs:  Assist, Buffer, Connect

Assist:  We help local, county, state, government agencies with land protection and acquisition projects and assist community partners with conservation projects.

Buffer:  We utilize conservation lands to create extra space between sensitive areas – like military establishments – where development would be incompatible. Buffers create large swaths of protected lands which benefit wildlife and keep citizens and military bases safe.

Connect:  We prioritize conservation projects next to each other to create wildlife corridors and to create longer trails and undisturbed waterways, ideally for public use.  Through community conservation, we connect people to land.


The Coastal Land Trust is an accredited land trust, gaining this mark of distinction in 2012, and renewed in 2017. The Coastal Land Trust proudly participates in this program, demonstrating successful implementation the Land Trust Standards and Practices and meeting high standards for land conservation.

Stewardship Endowment

The Coastal Land Trust accepts responsibility for ensuring a protected property’s conservation values are upheld – forever. To accomplish this, the Coastal Land Trust

  • conducts annual site monitoring visits
  • responds to landowners’ questions about the easement
  • maintains positive relationships with landowners
  • builds relationships with new landowners
  • ensures conservation agreement violations are appropriately resolved
  • responds to landowners’ requests to exercise reserved rights

To make sure we can uphold these ongoing commitments to our protected lands every year, forever, we established a Stewardship Endowment to cover the annual costs of Stewardship.

Your gift to the stewardship endowment will help ensure that all of our protected lands are monitored yearly and will provide necessary funds to resolve easement violations.

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