HAPPY CANADA DAY

The Nature Conservancy of Canada Celebrates by Protecting a 54-acre Natural Treasure in PEI.

PRINCE COUNTY, PEI, June 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Every day, Canadians are stepping forward to help protect the natural areas that define our country. In celebration of the many gifts from Canadians who care about our natural heritage, and in time for Canada Day, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) announces the protection of 54 acres (22 hectares) of land near the Town of Alberton.

The property is on the Conway Sand Hills, part of the Prince Edward Island Coast and Forest Natural Area.   The Conway Sand Hills is a 741-acre (300-hectare) sand dune and wetlands system. The off-shore islands and sandy beaches found on the Conway Sand Hills feature the most secluded nestling areas in Prince Edward Island. They are ecologically rich and critical to the lifecycles of many populations of waterfowl and shorebirds. Species that are able to nest in the area include the Common Tern, as well as the endangered Piping Plover.

Partnership is at the heart of NCC's work. Many gifts from Canadians have made it possible for NCC to secure this property. These forces for nature include: a private citizen who wishes to remain anonymous, Amalgamated Dairies Limited, Environment Canada, Fred and Shirley Hyndman, Gladys Hayman and P.E.I. Mutual Insurance Company. The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program is a unique public-private partnership helps non-government organizations secure ecologically sensitive lands to ensure the protection of our country's diverse ecosystems, wildlife and habitat.

You can join with NCC and became a force for nature this Canada Day.

  • Stand up and be counted. Add your name to the growing list of Canadians who believe protecting native habitat and wildlife is critically important to our future.
  • Join NCC's Conservation Volunteers program. You can join friends, family and NCC experts at events throughout the year and help care for some of Canada's most important natural areas.
  • Make a gift to NCC. You can celebrate a loved one, friend, teacher, or perhaps a favourite Canadian species, or a beloved landscape by making a donation today.

Quotes

"The Conway Sand Hills are the Island's wilderness," said Diane Griffin, NCC program manager for Prince Edward Island. "They are extremely important for the conservation of sand dunes and salt marshes as well as the wildlife that thrives there."

"Properties like this one speak to the rich natural beauty of Prince Edward Island," said Doug Deacon, an Atlantic Regional board member and chair of NCC (PEI). "The iconic sand dunes that foster rich habitat for species at risk also are an important part of who we are as Islanders and the natural and cultural heritage of the province. The protection of this property is a major step forward for the protection of PEI's natural history."

"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program. With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations," said Environment Canada Minister Peter Kent. "Your actions today will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that will constitute an integral part of our natural heritage tomorrow."

Facts

  • This Canada Day, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has protected over 7,870 acres (3,185 hectares) of natural heritage for all Canadians to enjoy. This is the equivalent to 32 square kilometres.  As a comparison, Prince Edward Island National Park is 22 square kilometres.
  • For a complete list of NCC's 10 Canada Day announcements and the forces of nature behind them visit, www.natureconservancy.ca/Gifts2011.
  • Many other species of shorebirds also use this area for feeding during migration and the adjacent Conway Narrows is a major feeding area for migrating waterfowl.
  • Donations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada deliver results you can walk on - 85% of donations go directly to protecting fragile landscapes in Canada.
  • Almost 1,200 volunteers contributed approximately 7,300 hours of volunteer work through the Conservation Volunteers program last year.

Learn More
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The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2 million acres (800,000 hectares), coast to coast. NCC has conserved 4,200 acres on PEI (1,700 hectares). To learn more visit: www.natureconservancy.ca

Stunning still photography available.
Interviews with volunteers, donors, NCC staff, experts and scientists available.
Check out our online newsroom for more updates at www.natureconservancy.ca/media.

SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information:

Andrew Holland, NCC Communications Manager (Atlantic Region) 1-877-231-4400

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Nature Conservancy of Canada

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