Community support helps conserve vulnerable shoreline and wetlands near Gimli
Nature Conservancy of Canada protects two more areas on Lake Winnipeg
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is today announcing the protection of two new conservation properties on the southwest shore of Lake Winnipeg. The Breda Bay and MapleCross Siglavik Wetland properties near Gimli cover 45 hectares of shoreline and wetlands on the lake.
These properties contribute to the overall health of Lake Winnipeg, by cleaning the water for cottagers and residents. They also provide habitat for pollinators, birds and young fish. With few large and intact natural areas remaining in the region, these properties' conservation secures nature’s legacy near Gimli.
Lake Winnipeg coastal wetlands provide significant breeding and migratory habitat for birds. They also play an important role in maintaining the ecological health of local water systems, by filtering and sequestering nutrients that would otherwise contribute to algal blooms and reduced oxygen levels in the lake. Wetlands like those around Gimli can also reduce the impact of flooding of coastal habitats.
NCC’s new properties offer valuable habitat to many species listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, such as barn swallow (threatened), short-eared owl (special concern), northern leopard frog (special concern) and monarch butterfly (special concern). The sandy and treed beach ridges found on these properties are also a rare forest type in Manitoba, and make up only 0.2 per cent of the Interlake region.
Last August, NCC put out a call for support to the community, and people answered. Thanks to generous supporters, NCC raised the final $60,000 of the project’s price tag to secure these conservation gems. NCC thanks the Dolhy family, who donated half the value of the Breda Bay Coastal Wetlands property,the MapleCross Fund, which made a lead gift to the project, and others who contributed to conserve these lands. This conservation project was also made possible with funding from the Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund.
Projects such as these are a testament to NCC’s leadership in accelerating the pace of conservation in Canada. In the past two years alone, the organization has influenced the protection of more than 1 million hectares (almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island), coast to coast to coast. Over the next few years, NCC will double its impact by mobilizing Canadians and delivering permanent, large-scale conservation.
In the face of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, nature is our ally. There is no solution to either without nature conservation. The Nature Conservancy of Canada believes that when nature thrives, we all thrive.
“Conserving these areas is an act of optimism and hope that Lake Winnipeg can be saved — that each of us can take action and play a part in helping our lake. It is clear that many people have a deep connection to the area’s beaches, shallow, warm waters and shoreline forests, and a long cultural history of connection to the lake. By conserving the natural integrity of two more areas near Gimli, we can ensure that future generations can enjoy the lake and land as well.”
– Cary Hamel, Manitoba Director of Conservation, Nature Conservancy of Canada
“We are very excited to work with NCC’s Manitoba team towards protecting the unique and ecologically important Lake Winnipeg Sunrise Coast. The wetlands at Breda Bay and Siglavik are especially significant because of their influence on both local communities and wildlife alike. These properties represent MapleCross’ first venture into Manitoba. We look forward to visiting this distinctive part of the country and hopefully catching sight of a White Pelican!"
– Isobel Ralston and Jan Oudenes, MapleCross Fund
"The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are two sides of the same coin, and we must tackle them together. By working with partners such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we are helping to protect the natural environment in Manitoba and across the country and build a healthier and more resilient future for our children and grandchildren. Programs like the Canada Nature Fund's Natural Heritage Conservation Program are helping us progress toward conserving a quarter of lands and oceans in Canada by 2025."
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to help conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. To learn more visit natureconservancy.ca
The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community.
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