Edisto Island Open Land Trust
Edisto Island Open Land Trust was organized in 1994 by concerned locals and property owners who feared Edisto was destined to become overdeveloped and lost to commercialization like many other sea islands on the South Carolina coast. The original founders of EIOLT were four local property owners who were quickly joined by additional Edisto residents, large and small landholders, and second-home owners. All were united in a common goal to preserve Edisto.
The value of selling or donating development rights was quickly recognized by many Edistonians who were concerned about the legacy of their property and their island as a whole. By donating property or a conservation easement to EIOLT, Edistonians not only benefited from tax deductions but also conserved the rural quality of the land, natural landscapes, and vistas of Edisto Island. Conservation easements allowed Edistonians to retain ownership of their land while controlling the future development of Edisto.