Staff in NL received the SPAWN Award (Photo by NCC)

Staff in NL received the SPAWN Award (Photo by NCC)

Nature Conservancy of Canada Receives Award

September 21, 2015
Corner Brook, NL


Provincial Agency gives honor for Wild Atlantic Salmon Preservation

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has received an award for its habitat protection and stewardship in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The not-for-profit, conservation group has earned the Harvey Bishop Environmental Award by the Salmon Preservation Association for the Waters of Newfoundland (SPAWN).

The Nature Conservancy of Canada received the award for its work in leading efforts to remove 2,000 pounds of garbage and debris from Sandy Point Island, located in St. George’s Bay.

"When we first formed in 1979 it was because we began to see a decline in Atlantic salmon stocks,” said SPAWN rep Keith Piercy.  ``Our thought was and still is: if we want to preserve this species for future generations we have to ensure that every effort is made to preserve the habitat they live in and reduce the numbers being harvested. The land that the rivers flow through must be protected from indiscriminate use because a pristine forest basically means a pristine river. We are more than pleased with the work the Nature Conservancy of Canada has done to purchase land to keep it safe from development."

The Nature Conservancy of Canada owns 10 properties and 82 acres at Sandy Point, which features the largest barrier beach in the province.  The Island has a colorful history. Once the largest human settlement on the west coast of Newfoundland, Sandy Point has been abandoned since the 1960’s. With accessibility only by boat from the nearby town of St. George’s, Sandy Point receives visitors each summer.

“Over the past two years it has been my privilege to meet and work with more than 20 enthusiastic volunteers on Sandy Point, without whom this conservation success would not have been possible," said Megan Lafferty, Nature Conservancy of Canada program director in Newfoundland and Labrador.  “It is special when recognition comes from conservation-minded organizations and individuals such as SPAWN and the Bishop family. NCC is honoured to be a part of remembering and celebrating the contributions of a prominent outdoorsman like Harvey Bishop”.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is looking for another clean up and is recruiting volunteers to do the 3rd Sandy Point Beach Sweep Saturday, September 26th, from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm. Removal of garbage reduces the risk of accidental ingestion or entanglement by wildlife.  In addition, general maintenance of this historically significant site is important.

Volunteers are also invited to participate in the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Fall Waterfowl Survey in the Grand Codroy Estuary.  It will take place on Thursday, September 24th, near Doyles, from 9 am to 3 pm. Birders of all ages and levels of experience are invited to help NCC spot and count birds including shorebirds and ducks. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been working in the Codroy Valley since 1997 protecting 504 acres. It is a Ramsar Site, recognized by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and as an internationally Important Bird Area (IBA).

“Conservation Volunteer events are fantastic opportunities to make time for nature and to get up close to the amazing places where NCC works, whether as a solo adventure or in the company of family and friends,” said Kathy Unger, Nature Conservancy of Canada stewardship and conservation assistant.

To register or to learn more about these activities, visit or call 1-877-231-4400.


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 2.7 million acres (1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. In Newfoundland and Labrador, NCC has protected 13,023 acres (5,270 hectares) of ecologically significant forests, wetlands and coastal areas for permanent conservation.

SPAWN has worked with governments to help improve the migrating numbers of salmon. They were responsible for recommending implementation of barbless single hooks to reduce damage to juvenile and adult salmon and lobbied for river retention limits based on the size of the salmon runs. SPAWN supports catch and release as a management tool and lobbies for improved and increased enforcement, because poaching is a major factor in stock reduction. In the end, SPAWN's hope is that this unique species will be a survivor and the migration will be in unprecedented numbers.

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