The Lowcountry Land Trust is moving to permanently protect Millgrove Plantation, a 444-acre plot on the Black River in Georgetown County with a conservation easement.

Millgrove Plantation fronts the Black River, which flows to Winyah Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, and is situated near the Rocky Point Community Forest. The conservation of the land will benefit the greater watershed as a whole, according to a statement from the land trust.

“We are happy to protect this significant piece of land in this crucial area,” said trust president and CEO Ashley Demosthenes. “The conservation efforts on the Black River are essential to the ecological health of the Lowcountry, and I am grateful for the South Carolina Conservation Bank, NAWCA, Ducks Unlimited, and the landowner, David Dukes, for their support.”

The easement is joined by a large cluster of private, permanently protected properties upstream, some of which lie within a 75-mile portion of the river from Clarendon County to Pea House Landing in Georgetown County.

“The momentum of land protection along the Black River continues with the addition of Millgrove to the seven other properties that the Conservation Bank has helped to protect,” said Conservation Bank executive director, Raleigh West. “I commend the collaboration between local, state, and federal entities as well as the willingness of a conservation minded landowner to bring this project to fruition.”

The state has recently renewed efforts to protect large swaths of land, particularly around the Black River.

The S.C. Conservation Bank has provided over $2.9 million in funding to Black River conservation projects to date, protecting roughly 3,100 acres and 4.5 miles of river frontage.