Basin Area

The COWASEE Basin covers over 315,000 acres in the midlands of South Carolina and includes the Congaree, Wateree and upper Santee Rivers.

The 24,000-acre Congaree National Park is the heart of the basin and is home to the largest old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the eastern United States.





Our Goal is to Conserve this Unique Area

Conservationists realize the need to preserve entire ecological systems. Since public ownership of this vast area is impractical, the success of this project rests on the willingness of current landowners to protect these river basins. Sixty-eight percent of the land within this focus area is privately owned by landowners who have a long history of being good stewards of their resources.

The key for this initiative is to encourage the continuation of private ownership while ensuring long-term protection and enhancement of resource stewardship.

Voluntary Conservation Easements

ButterflyA conservation easement is a written legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization or public agency that contains restrictions relating to various uses of the land.

Conservation easements are tailored to characteristics of a particular property as well as the owner’s financial needs and conservation goals. They may be put on entire parcels, or only portions of a parcel and can restrict as much or as little development as desired.

Because properties having conservation easements remain privately owned, they offer an excellent opportunity for those with a passion for their land to leave a perpetual legacy of their conservation values while honoring traditional land uses such as agriculture, forestry and wildlife management. Conservation easements may offer significant federal and state income tax and estate tax advantages.