Pender County Land Preservation

PENDER COUNTY -- Waterfront property is selling for top dollar, but one Wilmington family thinks the land has more value as it is now.

The McKeithan family owns more than 800 acres in Pender County near the Northeast Cape Fear River.

In the 1990's, they planned to develop a portion of the land into a subdivision. A change of heart lead to a deal with the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust. Now the land will be protected from major development in the future. Workers with the land trust say this is a win-win situation.

"It helps protect water quality, helps fishers, kayakers. You can see areas along the river that won't be touched," says Nancy Preston. Preston says this deal is forever. If the land is ever sold, this contract will remain in place.

Reported by Sarah Warlick