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© Chesapeake Bay Program (Chesapeake)

Eastern Shore Maryland

ESLC was founded in 1990 as a result of widespread concern that the Eastern Shore’s important wildlife habitat and prime farmland were being consumed by sprawling development. The decision was made by the founders to preserve land on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in order to keep prime farmland in agriculture, to protect unique natural areas, and to perpetually monitor those lands to ensure that preservation is permanent. ESLC’s Land Protection Program, which helps private landowners explore and implement various preservation options, has been the core function of the Conservancy through its first decade. This toolbox of preservation options includes gift conservation easements, Maryland’s farmland preservation easement program, Maryland’s Rural Legacy easement program, county transferable development rights programs, the family farm preference from federal estate taxes, and other options and combinations.

  • Protected nearly 57,000 acres of the Eastern Shore’s important natural habitat areas and prime farmland through easements on 268 properties and the creation of three preserves;
  • Assisted in the protection of another 7,400 on 16 properties.
  • Established a record of preservation that far exceeds any other local land conservancy in Maryland and is one of the most successful in the country;
  • Received conservation easement and other property interests on which more than $40 million worth of development rights have been extinguished;
  • Rescued six highly threatened priority properties on 1,146 acres and worth more than $12 Million using our Land Rescue Revolving Fund. In two cases, the properties are key links in trail systems and will allow public access and serve as permanent urban growth boundaries.

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