719 Acres To Be Protected Along Lake Norman

September 1st, 2009

Catawba Lands Conservancy and Catawba County announce the approval of $2.6 million of funding for the permanent conservation of 719 acres along the shoreline of Lake Norman, Mountain Creek and Terrapin Creek in southeastern Catawba County – a move that will bring permanent watershed protection to the drinking water source of the Charlotte-Metro Region.

In an innovative public/private partnership between Catawba County, Catawba Lands Conservancy, Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Duke Energy and Crescent Resources, a complex land protection plan was designed to complete one of the largest conservation projects in the Conservancy’s history, and will create the largest public park in Catawba County.

“Through the Duke Energy Relicensing effort and a rezoning development agreement with Crescent Resources,” said Mary George, Assistant Planning Director of Catawba County, “the County identified the need and negotiated for the acquisition of the Mountain Creek tract to ensure that this significant regional resource would be permanently preserved.”

The N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) awarded a $2.6 million grant to purchase 589 acres along Mountain Creek from Crescent Resources. The “match” for the CWMTF grant includes a reduction of the purchase price (bargain sale) and a donated conservation easement on an additional 130 acres along Terrapin Creek valued at $1.6 million. In total, the 719 acres will protect more than 10 miles of stream and shoreline along critical waterways serving the Charlotte Region.

“This project presented a unique opportunity for land protection on a major scale, including water quality protection in one of the most rapidly urbanizing watersheds in the state,” said Dave Cable, Executive Director of Catawba Lands Conservancy. “This landmark project increases our total conserved acreage by nearly 10% to 8,214 acres. The partnership with the community, Duke Energy and Crescent Resources was critical, and we are very grateful for the funding from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund.”

The 589-acre Mountain Creek tract is one of the largest remaining natural tracts on Lake Norman. Its preservation proactively addresses water quality protection in the highly urbanizing Catawba River Basin watershed. This preserve will serve as a public park in the fastest growing area of Catawba County with more than 20 miles of hiking trails and educational opportunities for schools, universities, and the public.

For more information, visit:

Catawba Lands Conservancy
www.catawbalands.org

Catawba County
www.catawbacountync.gov

Clean Water Management Trust Fund
www.cwmtf.net

Catawba Lands Conservancy is a regional land trust that permanently protects land, water and wildlife habitat to enhance your quality of life. The Conservancy protects 7,495 acres in Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Union counties and is one of 24 land trusts serving North Carolina that collectively have protected more than 285,000 acres. Catawba Lands Conservancy is the lead agency for the Carolina Thread Trail, an environmental initiative that will link more than two million citizens with hundreds of miles of trails that wind through fifteen counties in North and South Carolina.