Agreement protects 16,000 acres in Wateree River basin

February 6, 2014 

Cypress trees at Lake Marion, in the Wateree River basin

THE STATE — FILE PHOTOGRAPH

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) – The Congaree Land Trust is adding 16,000 acres in six counties under conservation agreements to protect them from development.

The Sumter Item reports that five landowners are making the donations. Three of the donations amount to nearly 13,000 acres along the Wateree River.

The donations make possible public access to 12 campsites along the Wateree River Blue Trail for boat paddlers.

The Wateree River runs from Lake Wateree south to Camden, past the Congaree National Park and into the Sparkleberry Swamp and Lake Marion.

The trust is a nonprofit organization established to preserve natural history, landscapes, air and water quality in an 11-county area of central South Carolina.

Trust membership director Kitty Weiland says the donations make possible a new focus on conservation in the Congaree, Wateree and Santee River basins.

Weiland says the new Wateree River campsites will be on the Sumter County side of the river west of Wedgefield.

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