Ostrander Point, Eastern Lake Ontario Coast, ON (Photo by NCC)

Ostrander Point, Eastern Lake Ontario Coast, ON (Photo by NCC)

Ostrander Point

Blanding's turtle (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

Blanding's turtle (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

Help protect a piece of Prince Edward County’s wild south coast

Located at Ostrander Point, on the south coast of Prince Edward County, is 135 acres (55 hectares) of wild, undeveloped shoreline, coastal wetland, forest, alvar and grassland. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has signed an agreement to purchase this stellar property, and we need your help to protect it for the long term.

Strategically located among a chain of protected areas, including the 800-acre (324-hectare) Ostrander Point Crown Land block, the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, the 490-acre (198-hectare) Miller Family Nature Reserve, owned and stewarded by the Hastings-Prince Edward Land Trust (HPELT) and the 76-acre (31-hectare) NCC Hudgin-Rose property, this urgent conservation opportunity will provide an important linkage for many species.

Part of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA), the property and the south coast generally provides vital staging and stopover habitat for a wide variety of migratory birds. Its open habitats could also be critical for grassland birds in the future.

Bald eagle (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Bald eagle (Photo by Bill Hubick)

The property contains 40 acres (16 hectares) of rare costal wetland part of the Provincially Significant South Bay Coastal Wetland that connects to Lake Ontario to the west that provides habitat for a number of migratory birds, turtles, frogs and fish.

The surrounding area also provides habitat for a variety of bat species, such as the at-risk little brown myotis, big brown bat, hoary bat and the migratory silver-haired bat and eastern red bat.

The landowners have given NCC the opportunity to purchase the property before they put it on the open market. But we have a deadline and the door on this vital conservation project is closing fast. NCC must raise $1.2 million by fall 2019 to protect this link of the local conservation chain and to further invest in habitat stewardship in the Ostrander Point area.

Prince Edward County South Shore

Monarch (Photo by NCC)

Monarch (Photo by NCC)

The South Shore peninsula of Prince Edward County has exceptional natural heritage value due to the habitats and species it supports. It is designated as a globally significant Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. IBAs are areas that have been identified as globally important for bird conservation using internationally agreed upon scientific criteria.

The south shore of the IBA encompasses about 30 kilometres of shoreline, the only lengthy, undeveloped strip of shoreline remaining in Prince Edward County indeed, one of the few shorelines of Lake Ontario that has remained undeveloped.

The popularity of Prince Edward County has grown in recent years, and opportunities to acquire undeveloped lands in a network such as this are becoming increasingly rare. NCC, HPELT and our other partners have a rare chance to protect this important mosaic of habitats before it’s too late. But we need to act fast.

The Ostrander Point conservation project is just east of the HPELT Miller Family Nature Reserve, owned and stewarded by HPELT, and protected with financial assistance from NCC. NCC and HPELT are committed to working together to protect and care for lands on the south shore as part of the Point Petre to Prince Edward Point conservation project.

Eastern Lake Ontario coast a priority for conservation

NCC is actively working to help conserve priority lands in and around the Lake Ontario coast, stretching from Brighton and Presqu’ile Provincial Park to just west of
Gananoque, and south to include Prince Edward County and associated coastal islands.

This scenic and historic landscape contains a rich mosaic of coastal wetlands, forests, streams, sand beaches and dunes, islands and alvars. It includes world-class coastline and provides critical habitat for grassland and migratory birds. The area is home to a multitude of plant and animal species, many of which are provincially, nationally and globally rare.

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Quick facts

  • Location: southeastern Prince Edward County. Approximately 50 kilometres southeast of Belleville and 21 kilometres southeast of Picton, on Ostrander Point Road at Babylon Road.
  • Habitat type: forest alvar, grassland and coastal wetland
  • Size: 135 acres (55 hectares)
  • Total project cost: $1,198,351
  • Species: bald eagle, barn swallow, whip-poor-will, Blanding’s turtle, monarch
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    Atlantic puffins (Photo by Bill Caulfield-Browne)