Husavik Coastal Wetlands Conservation Volunteers (Photo by NCC)

Husavik Coastal Wetlands Conservation Volunteers (Photo by NCC)

Nature Conservancy of Canada announces conservation of wetland property along coast of Lake Winnipeg

August 28, 2019
Winnipeg, MB

 

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to announce the conservation of a new property along the western shore of Lake Winnipeg.

The not-for-profit land conservation group has bought the property, which is dominated by important coastal marsh habitat, in the Rural Municipality of Gimli.

Featuring 21 hectares (52 acres) of marsh and forest habitats, and a creek, the Husavik Coastal Wetlands property supports a network of cattail, willow and sedge wetlands and woodlands, and populations of shorebirds, songbirds, and nesting and migrating waterfowl.

With concerns over the health of Lake Winnipeg, the securement of this property, which is an important location for biodiversity, is a positive move forward.

Wetlands play an important role in the health of our country and our communities. They play a critical role in absorbing and storing carbon. They also remove sediments, excess nutrients and even bacteria from our surface and groundwater. Like a giant paper towel, they absorb and hold water to buffer our cities and farms from floods and droughts — both of which are growing more common and extreme in recent years.

In addition to the wetlands, a raised bar of sandy soil, known as beach ridge runs through the property and supports approximately one and a half hectares (four acres) of deciduous forest species, including Manitoba maple, green ash, bur oak and eastern cottonwood.

The area is also well known for bald eagles congregating in the fall and provides habitat for species at risk, including short-eared owl and northern leopard frog, both nationally listed as special concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

Securing this shoreline property will help conserve coastal wetlands, which are considered to be under high threat in the Interlake region. None of the shoreline and beach ridge communities along this portion of the lake are officially protected.

Conserving this shoreline property will also ensure that some of the last intact coastal marshes, shorelines and beach ridges in the region are not lost while also conserving associated stream and floodplain areas. 

This conservation project was supported by funding from the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, the Province of Manitoba and the Richardson Foundation.

Quotes

“With the help of partners like the Nature Conservancy of Canada, our government is making progress toward doubling the amount of protected nature across Canada’s lands and oceans. Nature is central to our Canadian identity, and, by taking the initiative now to protect the Husavik Coastal Wetlands property, we’re ensuring our kids and grandkids can connect to nature and experience its wonder.” – Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The Nature Conservancy of Canada is very pleased and excited to have conserved significant coastal marsh along the shore of Lake Winnipeg. Coastal marshes are highly threatened and have many functions, including maintaining biodiversity and water quality.” - Kevin Teneycke, NCC Manitoba Region’s Regional Vice-President

“With all of the bad news surrounding Lake Winnipeg of late, I am proud to be a part of an organization that takes direct action to conserve and protect the lake and its environment. There is still time to make a difference — this is good news!” - Erin Crampton, member of NCC Manitoba Region’s Board of Directors

Facts

• The Nature Conservancy of Canada has:
o conserved more than 675 projects in the Lake Winnipeg watershed, encompassing more than 149,700 hectares (370,000 acres) of land;
o conserved more than 9,466 hectares (23,391 acres) of wetlands in Manitoba; and
o secured approximately 150 kilometres of shoreline along lakes and watercourses in Manitoba.


• The Lake Winnipeg watershed supports:
o thriving cities;
o approximately 17 million livestock;
o some of the richest farmland in the world; and
o some of the most ecologically important and threatened natural areas in Canada.

• Canada has approximately 25 per cent of the world’s wetlands and more lakes than the rest of the world combined.

About

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private 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 conserve and protect more than 26,305 hectares (65,000 acres) in the Manitoba Region. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) was established to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern Canada. Federal funds invested in the public-private partnership program were matched by contributions raised by NCC and its partners. Habitat conserved under the NACP will enhance wetlands, forests and other protected areas.

The NACP concluded March 31, 2019.  It has been replaced by Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP), which will continue to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. 

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