Thanks to its partners and donors, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has expanded its nature reserve in Abram-Village by 10 hectares (24 acres), providing greater protection for one of the Island’s largest remaining salt marshes.
The 10 hectares newly conserved by NCC is mainly forested and borders the Abram-Village salt marsh.
Because only one per cent of P.E.I.’s landmass is made up of salt marshes, these ecosystems are critically important for conservation, both for wildlife and local communities.
Salt marshes play a crucial role in buffering coastal communities from rising sea levels and more frequent storm events.
Protecting salt marshes is an important way to adapt to a changing climate and minimize coastal erosion, a growing concern for Islanders.
The Abram-Village salt marsh also provides vital habitat for many species of birds, including great blue heron, red-breasted merganser, American black duck, Nelson’s sparrow, willet, belted kingfisher and common goldeneye.
"The Abram-Village salt marsh is not only a haven for wildlife, in its natural state, it provides many benefits to the community, by acting as a storm buffer and nursery for marine life, including commercial fish species," said Lanna Campbell, P.E.I. program director, Nature Conservancy of Canada.
With this latest addition to its nature reserve, NCC has conserved a total of 79 hectares (194 acres) in Abram-Village.
By conserving forested land next to the salt marsh, NCC is helping the marsh better adapt to climate change, storm surges and rising sea levels.
Salt marshes played an important role in P.E.I.’s history. Salt marsh hay was a valuable resource that helped pioneer families survive long winters by providing feed for their livestock.
Unfortunately, many salt marshes were drastically altered in the process of harvesting the marsh hay and rich “mussel mud”, which was used as fertilizer.
The result is that P.E.I.’s coastline has fewer intact salt marshes than other parts of Atlantic Canada.
Funding for this conservation project was provided by the Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program and by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the North
American Wetlands Conservation Act. American Friends of Canadian Nature, Cooke Insurance Group and many individual donors also supported this project.
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