Freshwater Bay, NL (Photo by NCC)

Freshwater Bay, NL (Photo by NCC)

It's conserved! NCC's announces new nature reserve in Freshwater Bay

October 24, 2019
St. John's, NL


Protected thanks to a local land donor and local supporters

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to announce that it has completed its Freshwater Bay conservation project near St John’s, thanks to a generous land donation and the support of local donors. The 98-hectare (243-acre) Freshwater Bay property, valued at $2.2 million, was donated to NCC by the Crosbie Group for conservation and community use.

“We are thrilled to confirm that the Freshwater Bay property has been fully conserved,” says Megan Lafferty, program director for NCC in Newfoundland and Labrador. “We would like to thank Rob Crosbie and the Crosbie family for donating this exceptional piece of land for conservation. We would also like to thank the Government of Canada, Sisters of Mercy, Presentation Sisters, Patten Family Foundation, Cahill Group, ExxonMobil Canada and many individual donors to this project. By working together, we have ensured that the land at Freshwater Bay always will remain a nature destination for the Avalon Peninsula’s residents and visitors.”

Freshwater Bay is a scenic, popular spot for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, with a section of the East Coast Trail running through it on the way to Cape Spear. NCC has been working for two years to raise the necessary funds to ensure the nature reserve can be cared for over the long term, a requirement for all of NCC’s projects.

The new coastal nature reserve is mainly forested, with older native species of black and white spruce and balsam fir. It provides an important land buffer for nearby seabird colonies of black-legged kittiwake, black guillemot, herring gull and great black-backed gull, which nest along the cliffs between Freshwater Bay and Sprigg’s Point. As with most of the charitable land trust’s nature reserves, the area will continue to be accessible for activities like berry picking, hunting and hiking.

The Government of Canada provided $43,000 for this project, through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, a program established by Environment and Climate Change Canada to support the conservation of ecologically significant sites across Canada (now Natural Heritage Conservation Program).  The Freshwater Bay project is part of NCC’s Landmark Campaign, the largest private conservation fundraising campaign in Canadian history, with the goals of securing at least 500 new land conservation projects, connecting more Canadians to nature, and inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been working in Newfoundland and Labrador since 1996, and has helped conserve 5,200 hectares (13,000 acres) of the province’s most significant landscapes from the Codroy Valley to the Eastern Avalon Coastline. 

The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) was established to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern Canada. Federal funds invested in the public-private partnership program were matched by contributions raised by NCC and its partners. Habitat conserved under the NACP enhances natural corridors and other protected areas. The NACP concluded March 31, 2019. It has been replaced by Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP), which will continue to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands.

A portion of this project was donated through the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program, which provides enhanced tax benefits for individuals or corporations donating ecologically significant land. To learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program, please visit:

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Media Contact:

Kathryn Morse
Director of Communications - Atlantic Provinces

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