The Coastal Land Trust acquired 182 acres of natural area in Craven County to preserve habitat and wildlife. The tract of land was purchased using funds from a $7.3 million settlement between the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Sierra Club over the environmental impacts of the Havelock U.S. 70 bypass project that goes through the Croatan National Forest.
“This provides a buffer. When the Croatan National Forest does their prescribed burning, it’s nice to be buffered up against other wildlife lands and not against houses," said Janice Allen, the deputy director of the Coastal Land Trust.
The property is bordered by the national forest on three sides and consists of mostly pocosin wetlands and bottomland hardwood wetlands. Reedy Branch, a tributary of the Trent River, runs through the property.
"We hope to transfer the property to the Croatan to provide additional habitat," said Allen.
This is the second land acquisition using settlement funds. The Coastal Land Trust also purchased 113 acres of property in Carteret County last November.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated that the property was purchaced for $7.3 million. In fact, the Coastal Land Trust recieved a total of $7.3 million as part of the Havelock Bypass settlement. The 180-acre property in Craven County was purchaced for $118,000.