COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Residents and organizations near the Cove Swamp area were able to raise enough money to buy the land back.
Most of the $700,000 came from a grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The land had been previously owned by Riverstone Properties in Virginia.
Cove Swamp is a 440 acre crescent shaped tract of timberland that borders much of the canal along Canal Cove between Weaver Street and Cove Canal Road.
The Riverstone Properties wanted to clear cut the timber, which would have left the area looking like the swampland that was clear cut in 2008 along Business 74-76, east of Whiteville.
Residents were concerned that clear cutting the area would potentially damage the ecology and water quality of Lake Waccamaw as well as hurt surrounding property values.
"It could degrade the water quality in the lake," said David Scott. "It would greatly effect the species that make this lake a unique eco system, and it would effect the recreational potential of the lake."
Cove Swamp will officially be part of the Lake Waccamaw state park system in September.