Canada’s Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Peter Kent, today announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s successful acquisition of 29 hectares of land near the Village of Pugwash, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. This project was secured in part with funding from Environment Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program.
“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 Minister 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.”
This property is comprised of 22 hectares of mixed forest along with seven hectares of coastal habitat, including a salt marsh, tidal flats and one kilometre of shoreline, on the Pugwash River. The Pugwash River Estuary is the largest estuary along the Northumberland Strait and has a shoreline that remains largely undeveloped. It is unique in that it drains completely at low tide, exposing its Eelgrass flats to feeding birds. This feature, along with low disturbance levels, causes this area to annually attract about 3,000 Canada Geese, American Black Ducks, and other migratory birds from late August until December.
“The Nature Conservancy of Canada has worked closely with the community of Pugwash for a number of years to protect forested and wetland habitats surrounding this provincially significant estuary,” said Linda Stephenson, Nature Conservancy of Canada Regional Vice President for the Atlantic Region.” The acquisition of 29 hectares is an important addition to the 316 hectares conserved to date and we wish to thank all contributors for this achievement”.
The Government of Canada’s $225-million Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada’s environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. It is through the ongoing contribution from all donors that we can ensure the protection of natural areas in Canada. As of December 2010, the Natural Areas Conservation Program has protected 151,278 hectares of habitat, which includes habitat for 101 species at risk.