A gift big enough for a nation

The Nature Conservancy of Canada secures important natural area in New Brunswick

MONCTON, NB, June 22 /CNW/ - In honour of Canada's 143rd birthday the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has secured almost 160 acres (64 hectares) of natural habitat in Baie Verte along New Brunswick's Northumberland Strait. This important coastal habitat is one of 10 Gifts to Canadians announced this week in celebration of Canada Day.

This coastal property represents one of the largest remaining undeveloped properties along the southern reaches of the Northumberland Strait in New Brunswick, making it a critical area for protection. The expansive salt marshes, Eel-grass beds, tidal creeks and mixed forests make it a prime location for numerous species of birds and for larger mammals such as Black Bear and moose. The property also forms a part of the Chignecto Isthmus, which links Nova Scotia to the rest of Canada. This narrow land bridge is an important area that allows species to move freely between the two provinces.

Partnership is at the heart of NCC's work. Many partners have come together to help secure the Baie Verte property including the Crabtree Foundation, Eastern Habitat Joint Venture, Heritage Developments Ltd, MacDonald Paving & Construction Ltd, Modern Enterprises Ltd, the Open Space Institute's Transborder Land Protection Fund, the Province of New Brunswick and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. But this year, all 10 NCC Gifts to Canadians (one in each province) have also been made possible through the Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program. This 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.


"Today is a very special day as we celebrate the protection of one of Canada's most sensitive areas," said Linda Stephenson, Regional Vice President for the Atlantic Region of NCC. "The approximately 160 acre property with its sand dunes, mature forest, wetlands and beaches, is now safeguarded forever as a symbolic gift to all Canadians. Being one of the last remaining undeveloped properties along New Brunswick's Northumberland Strait, NCC couldn't have achieved this significant feat without the generous support of all of our partners."

"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's $225-million 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 Minister Prentice. "Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

"We are very pleased that a contribution of $1.5 million over three years that our government made to the NCC has helped in the acquisition of this ecologically significant coastal habitat at Baie Verte," said Province of New Brunswick Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles. "This is a wonderful and lasting gift from the Nature Conservancy of Canada to the people of New Brunswick, and we would like to publicly thank the NCC and its supporters."


        -  For a complete list of NCC's 10 Gifts to Canadians, click here
        -  Given the location and the habitat types present on the Baie Verte
           property, it is possible to see more than 200 bird species
           throughout the course of the year.
        -  If not protected, the mature forest, freshwater wetlands, salt
           marsh, dunes, beaches and wooded islands would most likely be
           subdivided and developed as recreational property.
        -  Baie Verte is located near the Village of Port Elgin, 30
           kilometres northeast of Sackville.
        -  The 10 Gifts to Canadians cover almost 13 square kilometres (more
           than three times the size of Stanley Park) and protect habitat for
           many species at risk.
        -  Many of the protected properties provide vital links to larger
           landscapes, creating networks of protected areas that give species
           the room to move, survive and thrive, which is especially
           important in the face of climate change.
        -  Since its inception in 2007 the Natural Areas Conservation Program
           has helped NCC to conserve more than 342,500 acres (138,600
           hectares), protecting habitat for more than 79 species at risk.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading private land conservation organization, working to protect our valuable natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2 million acres (800,000 hectares) coast to coast and more than 12,000 acres (4,856 hectares) in New Brunswick. By investing in conservation we are ensuring that our natural world remains a home for wildlife, a haven for recreation and a vital resource that cleans the air we breathe and the water we drink. Through strong partnerships NCC works to safeguard our natural areas so that our children and grandchildren will have the chance to enjoy them.


Gifts to Canadians details and media event schedule, click here (www.natureconservancy.ca/gifts2010).

SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information: For further information: Crystal Folkins, Manager of Communications, Atlantic Region, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Tel.: 506.450.6010, 1.877.231.4400, Mobile: 506.292.5118, Crystal.Folkins@natureconservancy.ca

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