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Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.

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conservation Tag

ESLC aims to protect half of Delmarva Peninsula

On Friday, July 27th The Star Democrat published an article on its front page about ESLC's most ambitious initiative in its 28-year existence, currently referred to as Delmarva Oasis.  The initiative, which seeks to include the support and partnership of multiple conservation-based organizations and the local governments of three states, is a beginning of a discussion about the end game for conservation. In other words, what habitat, food production and public access lands must we absolutely protect to sustain the core life functions of Delmarva - permanently, and can this region serve as a model for long term sustainability in other areas. According to such lead experts as renowned biologist and author, E. O. Wilson, the answer in large part lies in landscape-level land conservation. More conservation is needed, faster than before, and at scales unprecedented. Wilson proposes the idea in his 2016 book, Half Earth – Our Planet's Fight for Life. Research shows that if we conserve half the land and sea globally, the bulk of biodiversity will be protected from extinction. More specifically, 50% conserved equals 85% of species entering the safe zone, and 85% of species saved equals a planet stabilized enough for humans to continue to exist. “As a community here on the Eastern Shore, we have worked hard to protect the lands we love (about 29 percent protected on the Shore),” said ESLC President Rob Etgen. “With a new Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the horizon and major road improvements at the northern and southern end of Delmarva, we are concerned about a return to the sprawl pressures of the past. “We feel we must ramp up our land protection efforts, and we must take a more holistic regional approach if we are to keep the farms and forests and wildlife that make this region the wonderful place we know and love.”   Why Delmarva? A flight

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232 acres in Talbot County permanently protected

The Maryland Environmental Trust, partnering with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, has permanently protected 232 acres of farm and forest land along Maryland Route 33, known as the Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway. Gannon Family LLC granted a conservation easement on what is locally called “Lee Haven Farm,” forever protecting the prime agricultural land and scenic views. The Board of Public Works approved the easement Dec. 6. “We are grateful to keep this land a productive part of the local economy and to protect the scenic view on the Eastern Shore,” Maryland Environmental Trust Director Bill Leahy said. The easement is located in Talbot County immediately outside the town of Easton. It consists of about 100 acres of farmland and 125 acres of forest. The southernmost portion of the property is along the headwaters of Dixon Creek. “We have placed conservation easements on other Talbot County properties and are pleased to have worked with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and Maryland Environmental Trust to preserve a large part of Lee Haven,” Greg Gannon, an owner of Gannon Family LLC, said. Gannon Family LLC donated the land for conservation. Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Conservation Easement Program Manager Jared Parks said the land currently is listed in Easton’s greenbelt. The forest section is habitat for the Delmarva fox squirrel, which is no longer endangered but is still a species of concern, and “it’s got a lot of great farm land,” Parks said. “It is a great easement and it is in an area that we want to see preserved as greenbelt, stay active in farming and open,” Parks said. Farming can still happen on the land, but under the easement no commercial, industrial or residential development is allowed, and that provision literally lasts forever and follows the land, not the owner. “That allows them to continue to own it, farm it, do

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Reimagining Carter Farm, Centreville

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) has worked since 1990 to preserve and sustain the communities of the Eastern Shore, and the lands and waters that connect them.  Toward this mission, we have helped protect over 57,000 acres of prime agricultural and natural lands, which in partnership with other conservation efforts means nearly a quarter of our rural lands are protected.  More recently, ESLC launched a program called the Center for Towns that endeavors to provide support and actions that help advance our region’s small towns as strong, vibrant, and well-defined places. From this lens of growing strong small towns, ESLC views the development of the Carter Farm as one of the most important opportunities that exists for growing a vibrant Centreville.  The Carter Farm is an approximately 72 acre site comprised of two parcels in Centreville, Maryland.  The properties, currently zoned for residential development with an approved 138 unit subdivision, include a mix of open field and forested land in the Critical Area. After nearly two decades of interest, ESLC has secured a six-month option to purchase the properties.  Our goal during the next six-months is to allow for a community visioning and transparent public process, creation of a set of criteria and performance standards for future development, and development of a master plan that incorporates protection of natural features while supporting development that is consistent with the scale, pace and character of Centreville. In addition to public input, we will work with renowned design and development professionals, to generate ideas and innovations that can help make this project design a valuable asset for the Centreville community. While we are working towards a more determinant vision, we will be considering long-term impacts for Centreville, connection and value to the full community, connectivity and transportation, environmental protection, and public access.  Preliminary ideas include leveraging

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ESLC awarded for excellence in organizational leadership by Maryland Historical Trust!

On March 16th in Annapolis, the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) celebrated the state's best efforts in historic preservation during the 41st Maryland Preservation Awards. The MHT Board of Trustees recognized outstanding education, restoration and revitalization projects, as well as organizational leadership. ESLC proudly accepted MHT's award for 'Outstanding Organizational Leadership' - one of only 11 projects/groups to be awarded. (Pictured, from left to right: ESLC Center for Towns Director Katie Parks; Easton Town Councilmember Pete Lesher; ESLC Board President Benjamin Tilghman; ESLC Board Member Dave Harp; Maryland State Senator Addie Eckardt; and ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen) "In addition to protecting land with archeological sites and cultural landscapes, this conservation organization has expanded its programs to include planning in historic towns and recently rehabilitated a historic industrial building as its headquarters." -MHT

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A moral responsibility

Pope Francis' call to action should spur us all to look at the effect of our consumer lifestyles. Last week the Vatican released Pope Francis' encyclical, the Church’s highest level of teaching, on the environment. Reaching far beyond one religion, Francis called on “every person living on this planet” to recognize the effects that two hundred years of industrialization have had on our environment. He accentuated the moral obligation we have to conserve our natural resources for future generations. The message of moral responsibility to our grandchildren and their grandchildren is one that has been downplayed by the environmental movement for the last twenty years. It was replaced by economic arguments demonstrating that protecting the environment and cutting greenhouse gases will have greater benefits to society than the sum of their dollar costs. These economic arguments arose out of a need to convince policymakers and CEO’s that going green can strengthen their bottom line. The roots of conservation and stewardship dating back to John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt, and Aldo Leopold, have a strong theme of using only what we need and protecting the rest for future generations. Before that, many of the Native American nations hewed to the Seven Generations principle that important decisions must honor those seven generations in the past and consider the well-being of those seven generations in the future. Today, thousands of backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts follow "Leave No Trace" practices when they are in nature. The Pope is calling for this sense of moral and personal responsibility to become common habits of our daily lifestyles. Francis is correct that today’s consumerism is devouring natural resources and creating waste at a rate that will leave our grandchildren with a planet our grandparents would scarcely recognize. He urges “Humanity [to] recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption”. What

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Recent Posts

  • Eastern Shore Towns Respond to COVID-19
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Pat Langenfelder
  • Climate Study Predicts Extent of Heavier Rains on Eastern Shore
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Alexander Walls
  • LYON RUM Distillery announces final batch of ESLC Black Rum
  • The First Look at Severe Rainfall Impacts in Maryland
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Matt Tobriner
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Carol Bean
  • Chesapeake Bay Architects Discuss Design and Climate Adaptation
  • This Is Why I Preserve: Rob Etgen
  • Thriving – Not Simply Surviving – in the Delmarva Oasis
  • Saving the Stacks
  • Buy Local Challenge: Cookin’ with Carol
  • It Was a Beautiful Day for a LANDJAM!
  • Cannery Park Planting and Clean Up