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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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Delmarva Tag

New Installation Inside the Eastern Shore Conservation Center

Utilizing open space and some compelling imagery that was originally created for a 2018 exhibit, Pat Rogan of Washington, D.C.-based creative studio Assemble and ESLC staff recently installed some conservation-charged decor to the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. ESLC originally had the exhibit pieces created as a part of Shore Explorations, a month-long studio where participants strolled through Easton's Waterfowl Building exploring the Shore's history, ecosystem, and culture to seek a better understanding of their past, present, and future on the Mid-Shore. "It is always a thrill to work with experts to try to illustrate a grand vision that helps others imagine what is possible," says Rogan. "After first learning about the critical and innovative work of ESLC, I began to look at the rapidly changing landscapes of Delmarva differently. Instead of just feeling threatened by what is being lost with change, I started to see the power of people coming together to shape change while honoring and protecting our region's rural heritage." Once an abandoned eyesore on a main downtown Easton thoroughfare, the Eastern Shore Conservation Center was rehabilitated by ESLC into a LEED-certified, mixed-use campus housing a suite of nonprofit partners, local businesses, and apartments. The building was purposely designed with space to accommodate members from our community - large and small conference rooms, kitchen area, and outside courtyard all provide an uniquely urban and resourceful backdrop for any group or class needing space to host a meeting, party, or conference. For more information on renting space, please contact ESLC Facilities & Administrative Manager Owen Bailey at 410.690.4603.

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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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