Published on August 29, 2013
The Nature Conservancy of Canada announced on Thursday that it has acquired another 118 acres of ecologically sensitive land in Prince Edward Island. From left are Julie Vasseur, program manager for the Conservancy in this province, national Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, provincial Environment Minister Janice Sherry, and Linda Stephenson, vice-president of the Conservancy in Atlantic Canada. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
Published on August 29, 2013
The Nature Conservancy of Canada now owns nearly half of the Conway Sandhills along western Prince Edward Island’s north coast. Submitted photo
SUMMERSIDE – The Nature Conservancy of Canada has successfully added another 118 acres of land to its protected holdings on Prince Edward Island.
The conservancy announced Thursday that it has acquired another 113-acres of the Conway Sandhills and a five-acre section of salt marsh on Egmont Bay, in Victoria West.
Both areas are home to endangered or threatened species, like the piping plover and the Gulf of St. Lawrence pinweed.
Both properties are striking examples of Prince Edward Island’s natural environment, said Julie Vasseur, program manager for the Conservancy on P.E.I.
“Properties like this one speak to the stunning landscapes and unique beauty of Prince Edward Island,” said Vasseur.
“Landscapes like this are an important part of who we are as Maritimers and the natural and cultural heritage of this region.
“The protection of this land is an incredible legacy and an incredible gift to the future.”
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been a registered charity since 1962. Its goal is to raise funds to purchase environmentally sensitive land; holding it in trust for future Canadians.
Acquiring the rights to land on the Conway Sandhills has been one of the top priorities for the Conservancy on P.E.I. for several years.
The sandhills comprise several long, thin islands stretching nearly all the way across the north shore from Cascumpec Bay to Malpeque Bay.
The whole area makes up about 700 acres, about 350 acres of which is now owned by the Conservancy.
The five acres on Egmont Bay is strategically placed next to other properties the Conservancy is attempting to purchase.
Both purchases involved public funding: $159,747 from Environment Canada’s Natural Area Conservation Program and $92,160 from the P.E.I. Ministry of Environment.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also contributed to the purchase – but its contribution was not outlined by the Conservancy.
Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea represented her government at the announcement and praised the purchase as a good one for the Island’s future.
“At its heart, conservation is really a story about people – people from every background who are willing to work to protect this land that we all value,” said Shea.
Provincial Environment Minister Janice Sherry said her government has set a goal of protecting seven per cent of the Island’s land from development, and acquisitions like these go a long way to helping them reach that goal.
“Today’s announcement underscores how government and landowners can partner in protecting the natural heritage of this province.”
“It is essential that we continue to work together across all levels of government … with non-governmental organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and with all property owners to identify and protect important natural areas,” said Sherry.
For more information on the Nature Conservancy of Canada or to donate to one of its projects go online to www.natureconservancy.ca/en/.