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#06-190 July 17, 2006

S.C. Conservation Bank commits $9 million for habitat protection

At its June 20 meeting in Charleston, the S.C. Conservation Bank board committed $9,075,000 in funding for nine habitat protection projects containing 5,178-acres of highly significant lands.

These grants covered a wide diversity of critical lands located across the entire state, according to Marvin N. Davant, Conservation Bank, executive director. The grants were made for urban parks, large forestlands, mountain tracts in the Scenic Highway area of the Upstate, tracts adjoining existing State Parks, small family farms and coastal islands.

Find out more about the Conservation Bank at http://sccbank.sc.gov/.

In addition, the Conservation Bank partnered with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources in committing $10 million to purchase the Hamilton Ridge tract in Hampton County and Woodbury tract in Marion County containing a total of 38,949 acres of critical forestlands and wetlands. This partnership will protect river frontage totaling 46.5 miles on the Savannah and Pee Dee Rivers respectively. The Bank also committed funding to the Morris Island project in Charleston containing considerable historical significance. All of the grants had some degree of leveraging ranging from a small matching grant to 80 percent matching funds. All of the grants had public access ranging from moderate to full public access.

Grants approved at the board’s June meeting were received on or before the March 31 filing period deadline. The S.C. Conservation Bank has now completed its second full year of funding conservation projects statewide.

“This was an outstanding group of applications and the Conservation Bank is very pleased to be a partner in conserving these critical lands for the future and to improve the quality of life in South Carolina,” Davant said. “We appreciate the commitment of our conservation groups and our voluntary landowners to keep South Carolina a special place.”

In two years, the Conservation Bank has funded 40 conservation proposals from voluntary landowners. These proposals conserve a total of 40,607 acres statewide at an average cost per acre to the Conservation Bank of $916.00.

The Conservation Bank board will meet again on October 24, 2006 to consider applications received by the July 31 deadline. Mail applications to S.C. Conservation Bank, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202.

Proposals funded at the June 20 board meeting include:

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