Conservation Volunteers at Murray Harbour, PEI (Photo by Stephen DesRoches)

Conservation Volunteers at Murray Harbour, PEI (Photo by Stephen DesRoches)

Thank you, Murray Harbour volunteers!

Making nature reserves safer for wildlife

Lanna Campbell and volunteer John Nyren clean up Murray Harbour nature reserves (photo credit: Stephen DesRoches)

Lanna Campbell and volunteer John Nyren clean up Murray Harbour nature reserves (photo credit: Stephen DesRoches)

The islands in Murray Harbour are safer for wildlife, thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers who travelled by boat to the islands to clean their shorelines. 

Held on Saturday, August 24, the cleanup was a joint effort of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and the Island Nature Trust. Both conservation organizations, and the Province of Prince Edward Island, own and care for protected islands in Murray Harbour.  The volunteers and NCC and INT staff collected more than a hundred styrofoam buoys, a large lobster trap and 21 bags of marine garbage that had washed onto the islands. “We found everything from flip-flops to a light bulb,” noted NCC’s PEI program director, Lanna Campbell. 

The garbage was removed from the shorelines, where it can interfere with nesting areas or entangle wildlife, and hauled by boat back to the village of Murray Harbour. Some of the buoys were recycled and the rest of the garbage was disposed of safely. 

Murray Harbour is home to many species of birds, in particular, great blue heron, and it was a good feeling to know they have a safe haven at NCC’s Thomas Island reserve and the other reserves in Murray Harbour. 

The cleanup was NCC’s third and final volunteer event of the season. A huge thank you to the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund and oyster fisherman Robbie, who piloted our boat. A special thank you to our volunteers who rolled up their sleeves, got dirty and never complained, in spite of the rain showers. We look forward to seeing you next year!

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