The Sakonnet Landscape

Forest, Field, & Shore

Story Highlights

Here in the Sakonnet landscape, clean waters, unspoiled beaches, stone walls, working farms, forest trails, local seafood, and the sounds of abundant wildlife are the natural treasures we love.  

This is a special place where land and water meet the sea.  In so many ways, our own health and well-being are tied to the health and well-being of these lands and waters.
Yet today, this coastal landscape stands at a crossroads.  Forested hillsides lost to development mean fewer tracts available to nesting songbirds.  Farm fields are twenty percent of what they were in 1940.  Marsh and river habitats compromised by pavement and contaminated with runoff can’t support fish and shellfish.  A changing climate has put our coastline at risk.  
Fortunately, there is good news.  The Nature Conservancy, working in partnership, has already achieved significant conservation progress along the Sakonnet since we protected our first parcel in 1968.  And, we are ever cognizant of the challenges we face, adapting our strategies to balance the needs for both people and nature.
Together, with your help, we can implement a bold plan for a sustainable Sakonnet landscape.  The plan will make connections among protected tracts of forest, field and shore while restoring healthy coastal waters, building an army of volunteers to make our work even more sustainable, and inspiring a new generation of conservationists to continue our legacy.

This five year plan, coming in at a cost of $5M, relies on private dollars to leverage federal, state and foundation sources and to seize opportunities with conservation partners.  The result:  gifts magnify and expand the impact of our conservation efforts many times over. 

To make sure none of our progress in the Sakonnet Landscape slows down, and with partnership at the heart of all we do, we have identified three conservation priorities on which to focus our expertise and resources to tackle our most significant challenges.
The Nature Conservancy’s goal over the next five years is to protect an additional 750 acres of forest, field and shore.  Protecting lands and waters that connect with those already conserved will help ensure clean, fresh drinking water, stunning roadside views, lasting recreational opportunities, healthy flora and fauna, and a reminder of cultures that lived centuries before our time.
The Nature Conservancy recognizes that our work must connect and integrate land and freshwater actions with the tidal rivers and coastal waters of our region.  Through a science-based approach, we have created programs focused on bringing expertise and capacity from around the globe to protecting and restoring the ecological health of our local waters and coastal habitats.

As our remaining wild places and natural resources slip away, so does our human connection with them.  What will it take to save and manage the natural character of the Sakonnet landscape before it’s too late?  To address this challenge, the Conservancy has a multi-faceted plan to deepen understanding for the healthy lands and waters that support nature and people in their everyday life.  In so doing, we will create and inspire conservationists of tomorrow as we work on behalf of all people today.  




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