Key salt marsh habitat for herons protected on Acadian Peninsula

July 14, 2020
Shippagan, NB


NCC expands nature reserve bordering Inkerman Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has protected important shorebird habitat by expanding one of its coastal nature reserves on the Acadian Peninsula in northeastern New Brunswick.

The charitable land trust has purchased 13 hectares (33 acres) of salt marsh in Inkerman Ferry, near Shippagan. This new acquisition expands NCC’s existing Pokemouche Bay Nature Reserve to 90 hectares (222 acres).  

The Pokemouche Bay Nature Reserve is located inside an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (Point aux Rats Musques Heronry IBA), a global network of key habitats. NCC’s reserve also borders and helps protect the Inkerman Migratory Bird Sanctuary, managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service.

NCC’s Pokemouche Bay Nature Reserve and the Inkerman Migratory Bird Sanctuary provide breeding habitat for a colony of great blue herons, which require remote and undeveloped locations to breed successfully. 

During their fall migration, many other species of shorebirds, such as American black duck and greater and lesser yellowlegs, rely on the salt marshes in Pokemouche Bay. NCC’s reserve also provides important habitat for the endangered piping plover and for salt marsh copper, one of five butterfly species found only in Canada.

This conservation project was made possible through the financial contributions of the Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. This project was also supported by the Government of New Brunswick, Crabtree Foundation and many individual donors.

NCC has ongoing projects to conserve and care for important natural spaces on the Acadian Peninsula. To learn more, get involved and to donate, people may contact NCC in New Brunswick at 1-877-231-4400.


“We are thrilled to expand this special nature reserve and conserve important salt marsh habitat. Because it borders the Inkerman Migratory Bird Sanctuary, this project is helping protect an important breeding area for great blue herons. It’s also a home for shorebirds, many of which are facing declining populations. We would like to thank our supporters and our project partners. By helping us purchase and protect this salt marsh, together we have created a win for wildlife.”

- Denise Roy, Conservation Representative, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“We are so fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The expansion of the Pokemouche Bay Nature Reserve is an important step in preserving the natural beauty that our region has to offer. I’m grateful to the many partners, including several private donors, who have come together to help safeguard the habitats of several species of protected and endangered birds. I’m very proud to know that this reserve will remain a lasting legacy of our government’s continued environmental stewardship.”

Serge Cormier, Member of Parliament for Acadie–Bathurst

“The expansion of Pokemouche Bay Nature Reserve not only conserves salt marsh habitat for shorebirds, like the endangered piping plover, but further protects the Inkerman Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which is an important breeding habitat for the great blue heron. We are proud to support the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s expansion of this nature reserve through the Canada Nature Fund’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program. By preserving this wildlife habitat on the Acadian Peninsula, we are making progress toward conserving a quarter of Canada’s land by 2025.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

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Media Contact:

Andrew Holland
National Media Relations Director
Office: 1-877-231-4400 | Mobile: 506-260-0469

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