Another preservation boon for the Palmetto State

December 15, 2023

Hundreds of acres fronting the storied Catawba River are now permanently protected

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

The S.C. Conservation Bank announced the protection of approximately 600 acres along the Catawba River including one mile of frontage on the river in Lancaster County. The announcement was made Dec. 13.

“I’m so proud of what we’re doing here in South Carolina and the conservation and preservation leadership by Governor Henry McMaster,” said Dr. Tom Mullikin, chair of the gubernatorially established S.C. Floodwater Commission and board member of the Conservation Bank. “This amounts to the protection of 598 acres of ecologically rich and stunningly beautiful land that is situated along the equally beautiful Catawba River. The land which includes public access will reconnect the Catawba Indian Nation to its ancestral lands.”

According to Mullikin, the property features rolling-to-steep topography with expansive views of the Catawba River and the Catawba Reservation.

“The land includes the primary location where Catawba collect clay for making pottery, “Mullikin said. “The clay is unique in its composition, and it is essential to the creation of Catawba pottery, which is known for its intricate designs and beautiful colors.”

Mullikin added: “This acquisition will bring the entire tract into public ownership to visit, and this project brings together the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism as a resource management partner expanding the permanently protected 600-acres of open space on the river.”

To purchase the property, support was secured with matching commitments from Lancaster County, Duke Energy, the Knobloch Family Foundation, the Arras Foundation and the S.C. Conservation Bank.

McMaster appointed Mullikin to the board of the S.C. Conservation Bank earlier this year.


– For more information about the S.C. Conservation Bank, please visit –

Pictured is Dr. Tom Mullikin on the river frontage of the newly protected land