St. Simons Land Trust
, a nonprofit, membership-based organization that has worked to acquire and protect land and greenspaces on the coastal Georgia island since its founding in 2000, just made an exciting land purchase! The newly acquired land quadruples the amount of protected land on St. Simons.
The land purchased by St. Simons Land Trust is known as Cannons' Point, an undeveloped, 608-acre wilderness tract. Cannon's Point is the last intact maritime forest on St. Simons Island, and it is rich in cultural and natural history. It is a peninsula, consisting of more than six miles of salt marsh, tidal creek and river shoreline, and is home to a plethora of wildlife: oysters, birds, fish, manatees, shellfish and many more plant and animal species are now under protection in the wildlife refuge.
The land will be managed as a publicly accessible wilderness preserve that will be protected by a conservation easement, monitored by St. Simons Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy of Georgia.
The purchase of Cannon's Point was made possible by a $25 million fundraising effort to preserve the land.
"So much of the natural history that preceded us is being erased," said Wendy Paulson, who with her husband, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and others, took the lead on donations. "This was not so much a financial venture as it was a collective and urgent mission to establish a preserve that protects the natural and cultural history of Georgia's coast to ensure that ongoing generations can better understand and enjoy barrier island history and ecology. Saving places like Cannon's Point helps define the kind of future we want to leave for those who follow us."
Pete Correll, a partner in the project, grew up in nearby Brunswick. He had this to say: "Cannon's Point is really two things: a wonderful piece of coastal property that needed to be preserved; but it also has historical significance. It's important for the people of this area and our state to know that this is how Georgia grew up."
To learn more about the significance of Cannon's Point, watch the video below:
Photo: Milton Heard/Flickr