Firstly, Canada’s Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Peter Kent, announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s successful acquisition of 22 hectares of land on the Conway Sand Hills. That’s near the Town of Alberton, Prince County, Prince Edward Island. This project was secured in part with funding from Environment Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program.
This property is part of the Prince Edward Island Coast and Forest Natural Area and the Conway Sand Hills. They are a 300 hectares sand dune and wetlands system found off the north shore of Prince County. The off-shore islands and sandy beaches found here contain the most secluded nesting areas in the province. Most noteworthy, ecologically rich and critical to the lifecycle of many populations of waterfowl and shorebirds. Species are able to nest in this area include the Common Tern, Great Blue Heron and Osprey. In addition and as well as the endangered Piping Plover. Many other species of shorebirds also use this area for feeding during migration. Also and the adjacent Conway Narrows is a body of salt water that is a major feeding area for migrating waterfowl.
“The Conway Sand Hills are the Island’s wilderness,” said Linda Stephenson, Regional Vice President for the Atlantic Region with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “They are extremely important for conservation of sand dunes and salt marshes as well as the wildlife which thrives there.” Since 1984 the Nature Conservancy has assisted in the conservation of about 1,700 hectares in Prince Edward Island.
In conclusion, the Government of Canada’s $225-million Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative. This program takes real action to preserve Canada’s environment and conserve its precious natural heritage. Both 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. Finally and as of December 2010, the Natural Areas Conservation Program has protected 151,278 hectares of habitat. This also includes habitat for 101 species at risk.