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In April of this year The Nature Conservancy Delaware Chapter acquired a conservation easement on 507 of the 530 acre Island and Sanctuary Farms in Sussex County. The intent of the conservation easement is to protect the acres of tidal marsh and high quality forested and agricultural lands found on the property.
A conservation easement is a legally binding agreement not to develop part of a property, but to leave it "natural" permanently. The property still belongs to the landowner, but restrictions are placed both on the current landowner and on all subsequent landowners as well.
The easement establishes land use parameters that are compatible with long-term conservation and environmental values. The easment calls for annual inspections of the property, with prior notice, and permits The Nature Conservancy to take certain actions of the landowner does not abide by the terms of the agreement.