Protected in perpetuity in Portsmouth

2.5 acres of wetlands on town’s northwest shore donated to Aquidneck Land Trust

Posted 11/13/23

PORTSMOUTH — Another hunk of coastline has been protected from development.

The Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) has announced the conservation of a 2.5-acre wetlands property, the …

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Protected in perpetuity in Portsmouth

2.5 acres of wetlands on town’s northwest shore donated to Aquidneck Land Trust

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Another hunk of coastline has been protected from development.

The Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) has announced the conservation of a 2.5-acre wetlands property, the “Sullivan Preserve,” on Portsmouth’s northwest shore. The parcel is adjacent to the Wood-Estabrook Preserve, another 5-acre property donated to ALT earlier in the year. 

The Sullivan Preserve is a part of a larger 44-acre marsh and beach. A R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council-designated path runs through the land with access to a public beach, and parking for the pathway is near Pheasant Drive. 

Combined with the Wood-Estabrook parcel donated last year, 7.4 acres between the railroad line and the bay are now protected from development in perpetuity.

The property was donated by four siblings in the Sullivan family. “These wetlands have been a part of our experience as an Aquidneck Island family since we were kids in the 1950s,” the family said in a joint statement. “Our family shares many pleasant memories exploring this woodland, marsh, and shoreline. We are happy to deed this property to the Land Trust to preserve and steward its natural state for future generations.”

The site includes beach, salt marsh, and scrub-shrub habitat, and is visible from the path, railroad, surrounding houses, boats in the bay, and cars on the Mt. Hope Bridge. It is strategically located should a multi-use path on the adjacent railroad line ever be created. A number of bird species have been recorded during site visits by ALT staff, including osprey and egrets.

“This coastal marsh area is a really special part of Portsmouth. Both the views and habitat are incredible,” said Alex Chuman, ALT’s conservation director. “Protecting salt marshes and adjacent uplands make our coasts more resilient to climate change, soaking in storm surge and allowing space for marshes to migrate as waters rise. We are grateful to the Sullivan family for donating their land for conservation.”

Since 1990, ALT has conserved 99 properties covering more than 2,815 acres of land on Aquidneck Island — more than 11 percent of the island’s total acreage.

For more information, visit www.ailt.org.

Aquidneck Land Trust

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