Eastern Shore Land Conservancy


Land Conservation

Land Use & Policy

Ways to Give


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Board of Directors




Mission Statement
Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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Preserving the Rich Heritage of the Eastern Shore

We believe that when we conserve land and our natural habitats, we invest in our quality of life and preserve what makes the place we live valuable. On the Delmarva Peninsula, this encompasses everything from helping to ensure that we have clean water for drinking and fishing, to helping sustain critical habitat for wildlife and keeping working lands intact, putting locally-sourced, healthy foods on our tables.

Since 1990, ESLC has worked to protect critical resources on Maryland’s Eastern Shore by:

  • Permanently protecting approximately 65,000 acres of farms and forest.
  • Providing public access to open space, including: parks, farmland, hiking trails, urban gardens, and the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Pioneering innovative land protection programs in an effort to help farms stay viable and assist younger generations of farmers in becoming landowners.
  • Helping landowners discover, evaluate, and implement the land preservation options available to them.

Another great thing about protecting land is that there are a handful of options as to how to go about it—one of which will most likely work best for your situation. Some options are charitable, while others result in payment to the landowner. The most common approaches include:

  • Donating a conservation easement.
  • Donating land.
  • Selling a conservation easement.

Read more about all the options by following the link below.

Connections to the Farming Community

Farmland forms the foundation of the economy on the Eastern Shore. This working landscape not only provides a wide-variety of agricultural crops and seafood, but also defines the rural character of our region. It not only provides the food we eat, but well-managed farmland also provides important environmental contributions such as wildlife habitat, building healthy soils, sequestering carbon, and preserving open spaces.

Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program
We also work directly with young and beginning farmers to connect them to the resources they need to successfully start and grow their own farm enterprise. Next generation farmers face significant barriers to success, and ESLC is committed helping them overcome them so that all of us may benefit. If you are a beginning farmer, contact us to see how we can help.

Land Stewardship and Resources for Owners of Conserved Land

People of all ages and backgrounds deserve to benefit from ESLC’s strategic land conservation efforts. ESLC promotes land conservation and planning that provides public access to open space, including parks, the Chesapeake Bay, farmland, hiking trails, urban gardens, and other parts of the Eastern Shore’s rich heritage.

Conservation Easement Stewardship

Placing a conservation easement on your land is only the first step in what will be a long-term relationship with ESLC. Our stewardship staff looks forward to working with each and every easement landowner to ensure not only that the easement is upheld in perpetuity, but to also deal with all aspects of a land trust’s management of a conservation easement, including: annual monitoring visits; landowner relations; record keeping; processing land-owner notices; request for approval and amendments; managing stewardship funds; enforcement; and defense.

Enhanced Land Stewardship

ESLC enhanced land stewardship includes activities and outreach that connects easement landowners with the tools, knowledge, and funding to initiate conservation practices on their lands. We work closely with regional professionals to develop whole farm plans for easement landowners that can provide a beneficial overview of their land and the practices that could be implemented to further enhance soil health and water quality.

Annual Monitoring Visits

The Conservancy is responsible for annually monitoring every property under easement to ensure the terms of easements are met and provides an opportunity for regular communication between landowners and the Conservancy. Monitoring is important because it ensures the protection of the land’s conversation values over time and provides an opportunity for our stewardship team to meet with landowners on their protected landscapes.

Preserving The Eastern Shore

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy can help you learn about land preservation and about which options are right for you. We’ll provide you with more information and guidance that can help you get started.

Make a Contribution Today

You can make a financial contribution large or small through our website. The process is easy, straightforward, and secure. Your donation supports the mission of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and makes a difference by improving the long-term quality of life in the Eastern Shore community.