Army Corps approves Boeing’s plan to preserve 4,000 acres including wetlands

Staff Report
Published July 14, 2014

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved Boeing’s plan to preserve 4,000 acres near the Francis Marion National Forest, including more than 2,000 acres of wetlands.

The wetland mitigation plan is part of the permitting process for 468 acres in North Charleston that Boeing announced it will lease from the state’s Palmetto Railways for expansion plans. The lease includes 153 acres of wetlands that date back to the property’s former use as a phosphate mine.

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“This plan supports our business growth as well as our commitment to the environment and communities where we live and work,” Jack Jones, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, said in a statement.

Boeing worked with federal, state and local agencies, as well as conservation organizations, to identify three separate tracts to preserve; those were closed on earlier this year.

Boeing funded the Lowcountry Open Land Trust’s purchase of one tract, which it will hold for up to five years and then transfer to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources for long-term ownership and management.

The Open Space Institute and The Nature Conservancy purchased the other two tracts with funds from Boeing. They will hold the property for up to five years and then transfer it to the U.S. Forest Service for long-term ownership and management as part of the Francis Marion National Forest.

“This investment significantly advances a national effort to protect and restore the fire-dependent native longleaf pine ecosystem,” Mark Robertson, S.C. executive director of The Nature Conservancy, said in a statement. “Together, these acquisitions represent one of the largest private conservation investments in the Francis Marion National Forest and surrounding region.”

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