Conservation Society Seeks Help for "Arch"

Wilmington, NC – Members of the new Cape Fear Arch Conservation Collaboration say they want to start building partnerships with community organizations to save the region's environment from development.

The designated area covers 900 square miles along the coast of North and South Carolina, stretching as far inland as Cumberland County.

One of the collaboration's first moves is soliciting various non-profit and government organizations for help. Arch Conservation Member Dan Bell says protecting the designated area from overdevelopment is important "not only because of these unique plants, but you have in this area black river swamp corridors, barrier islands, long leaf pine habitats. You just have so much of so many great things in this area.

Bell says preserving these elements takes more money than the group has.

"Land prices are very expensive so when you're in the business of doing what we're doing, which is trying to buy land for perpetual conservation," Bell says. "It's tough for funding areas to commit that level of their moneys to very expensive beach property."

Bell says the Cape Fear Arch has plans to launch a website and draw a comprehensive map of the designated area within the next year.