- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

LAUREL, Del. (AP) - The U.S. Navy has joined with environmentalists and state officials to purchase a 48-acre tract in Sussex County, expanding a corridor of protected land beneath airspace used for research at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

State officials said Tuesday that the Cod Creek property, a woodland tract along a tributary of the Nanticoke River, was purchased for $206,529. Funding came from the Department of Defense, Delaware’s Open Space Program and the Chesapeake Conservancy.

Officials said the purchase is latest property acquisition to which the Chesapeake Conservancy has contributed private funds that help leverage state money to preserve land and create public access along the Nanticoke River and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

Military officials said the purchase will help protect critical test missions.

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