Musquash Nature Reserve, NB (Photo by NCC)

Musquash Nature Reserve, NB (Photo by NCC)

Nature Conservancy of Canada Launches Fundraising Campaign to Protect Wildlife Habitat in Bay of Fundy

September 27, 2016
Saint John, NB

 

NCC Aims to Conserve more than 1,300 acres at Musquash and Grand Manan


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is fundraising to complete the protection of its nature reserve at the Musquash Estuary near Saint John, and is starting a new reserve at Grand Manan Island, as part of its habitat conservation efforts in the Bay of Fundy.

The Bay of Fundy is one of the most critical stopping points on the Atlantic Flyway, the Arctic-to-South America route used by hundreds of thousands of migratory birds every year. Both Musquash and Grand Manan provide vital feeding, resting, and breeding areas for migratory birds, many of which are experiencing serious declines in population due to climate change, urbanization and reduced habitat.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been conserving land for wildlife at Musquash since 2001. To date NCC has protected more than 4,000 acres (1,618 hectares) of marshes, mudflats, coastal forests and beaches, and has been a partner in the establishment of New Brunswick’s only Marine Protected Area at the Musquash Estuary. NCC has also developed two trails in the area — at Black Beach and Five Fathom Hole — which are popular destinations for hikers and nature lovers.

NCC is fundraising to add nearly 1,000 acres (404 hectares) to the existing Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve. This includes 300 acres (121 hectares) of land being purchased by the conservation organization, as well as properties being donated in memory of well-known individuals.

The family of Mabel Fitz-Randolph, a local historian and conservationist who passed away in 2013, is making a new donation in her honour.  Fitz-Randolph entrusted 739 acres (299 hectares) of her land at Musquash to NCC in 2009. Her family is donating a further 87 acres (35 hectares) on the Musquash River in her memory.

The family of Andrew (Andy) Simpson, founder of F. Andrew Simpson Contracting in Saint John, plans to donate more than 590 acres (238 hectares) on the Musquash River. Andy Simpson passed away in 2015 and assisted in the development of NCC’s hiking trails in the area. A high point on the Simpson property provides a spectacular view of the Musquash River’s characteristic oxbow bends and extensive marshes.

At Grand Manan, where internationally-recognized bird habitat attracts birders from around the world, NCC is beginning a new conservation effort to protect 320 acres (129 hectares) of coastal habitat on the island. The area NCC is working to conserve is within the Grand Manan Migratory Bird Sanctuary, designated by the Canadian government.

Although the birds themselves have been protected at Grand Manan, their habitat has not, and privately-owned properties currently for sale could be developed. To prevent the loss of this vital habitat, NCC is raising funds to purchase these properties. For both Grand Manan and the Musquash properties, NCC must have funding in place to cover legal and other all costs as well as endowments for long-term stewardship of the land, whether purchased or donated.

As a registered charity, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is seeking donations to help secure these outstanding areas, both for wildlife habitat and for future generations of New Brunswickers to enjoy. Gifts from individuals will be matched with donations from corporations, private foundations and government. The New Brunswick office of NCC needs to raise $350,000 in private funding by the end of the year to unlock matching government funds.

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 2.8 million acres (over 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved more than 70,000 acres in the Atlantic Provinces.

For more information about contributing and donating to this campaign, please contact Anna-Lee Vienneau, major gifts manager with the Nature Conservancy of Canada at Anna-Lee.Vienneau@natureconservancy.ca.

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