NCC's Sandy Bay Natural Area, South Shore, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

NCC's Sandy Bay Natural Area, South Shore, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Sandy Bay

Deborah Carver speaks on behalf of donors, NCC news conference, Sandy Bay, NS (Photo by NCC)

Deborah Carver speaks on behalf of donors, NCC news conference, Sandy Bay, NS (Photo by NCC)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) now owns a 171-acre (69-hectare) jewel at Sandy Bay, adjacent to Thomas Raddall Provincial Park.

The property is part of NCC's efforts to protect upland habitat and coastal systems along the shoreline of Port Joli Harbour, where more than 480 acres (194 hectares) are already secured.

In the fall of 2012,  the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) announced the acquisition before an overflow crowd at the Harrison Lewis Discovery Centre in Nova Scotia.

More than 80 people jammed inside and outside the rustic facility and enjoyed fantastic images from NCC volunteer photographer Mike Dembeck. They listened to remarks by various participants while also taking advantage of the sunny afternoon to enjoy the beautiful coastal area, which boasts a rich human history.

Important habitat for wildlife

Sandy Bay is home to a beach, wetland and forest along the ocean. The site is also used by migratory waterfowl such as black duck, red-breasted merganser and long-tailed duck.

The area is also part of a white sand/dune system that stretches over 1.5 kilometres of coastline and represents potential habitat for piping plovers.

Over 80 percent of the property features a coastal forest that is dominated by black spruce, balsam fir and scattered red maple.

Partners in conservation

The project was a combination of purchase and donation, totalling around $500,000. NCC's funding partners were the Natural Areas Conservation Program from Environment Canada and the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust.

MP Gerald Keddy, present at the property announcement, noted just two percent of Nova Scotia's 8,000-kilometre coastline is protected and work still needs to be done. He added that the federal government was pleased to work closely with NCC to protect and sustain this site forever.

"It's organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada who help preserve that two percent and they are working on more."

To get a closer look at this spectacular area, click on the impressive footage captured by NCC volunteer Mike Dembeck, a professional videographer and photographer. 

(Story continues below the slideshow)

  • Aerial image of NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Aerial image of NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
  • Aerial image of NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Aerial image of NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
  • Aerial image of NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Aerial image of NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
  • Shoreline at NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Shoreline at NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
  • Reflection at NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Reflection at NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
  • Visitors at NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Visitors at NCC's Nature Reserve at Sandy Bay, Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

 

 

The video below was carried by television news stations in the Maritimes.

(Story continues below the video)

 

Conservation begins at the grassroots

Deborah Carver spoke on behalf of three families that owned the land and agreed to jointly sell and donate to NCC: Sherri and Scott Worrall, Humphrey and Anne Carver and Dirk and Susan Van Loon. They bought the land and moved into the area in the late 1960s but didn't have much of a connection to it beyond that.

Over the last decade, the families felt they wanted to see the area conserved. Rather than try and do it on their own, Carver said NCC appeared to be the best group to partner with, given it had a track record of taking care of key habitat in Port Joli Harbour.

"Part of what makes this beach a gem is although many generations have enjoyed it, it really has been barely touched by human footprints," said Carver.

Supporter Spotlight

http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-you-can-do/donate/Monthly_gift.html