Cooperatove Conservation Project

Sandy Neck/ Great Marsh Land Conservation

Partnering to Conserve Coastal Resources on Cape Cod

Location: Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic Region: Massachusetts

Project Summary: By 2005, a partnership of government and non-profit partners formed in 2003 had added over 120 newly protected acres to the Sandy Neck/Great Marsh Conservation Area on Cape Cod.
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Resource Challenge

The quality and viability of the Sandy Neck/Great Marsh System is due in large part to the fact that over 4500 acres in the project area are already held in conservation ownership.  Nonetheless, there are numerous inholdings and adjacent undeveloped (or underdeveloped) parcels that lack protection and would theaten the ecological integrity of the system if developed.   A multi-year partnership is working to acquire as many of these parcels as possible.

Cape Cod's Barnstable County is one of the fastest growing counties in the northeast, with property values escalating rapidly.   To compete against developers in this expensive market, effective partnerships for land acquisition are essential.

Examples of Key Partners
United States Fish and Wildlife Service; Massachusetts Deptment of Conservaion and Recreation; Town of Barnstable; Town of Sandwich; The Nature Conservancy; Barnstable Land Trust
Results and Accomplishments
Four parcels totalling over 120 acres has been purchased from willing sellers and dedicated to conservation.  Conservation easements on each property are held by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, whihc fee interest is held by either the municipality or non-pofit organization.

To demonstrate commitment to the project, the Town of Sandwich and Barnstable Land Trust both voluntarily contributed conservation easements to the Massachusetts DCR on over 200 acres of land they already owned in the project area.

Project Contact
Robb Johnson
Land Protection Specialist
The Nature Conservancy

617-227-7017 x 305


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