ExxonMobil Canada boosts NCC's Freshwater Bay project
The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Freshwater Bay conservation project is closer to completion, thanks to a $25,000 donation from ExxonMobil Canada. The donation will help NCC, a charitable land trust, establish a nature reserve in Freshwater Bay near St. John’s. The 243-acre (98-hectare) project is part of NCC’s national Landmark Campaign. The fundraising campaign aims to protect more than 500 new ecologically significant sites across Canada.
"On behalf of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, I would like to thank ExxonMobil Canada for its support, and for bringing us closer to our goal of conserving this special part of the Avalon Peninsula for everyone to enjoy," said Megan Lafferty, NCC program director in Newfoundland and Labrador. "Once it’s protected, the Freshwater Bay Nature Reserve will offer recreation and volunteer opportunities. It will also provide a location for students to learn about local ecology. We are continuing to fundraise for this important project."
Freshwater Bay is a popular picnicking and hiking destination located minutes from St. John’s. A former fishing settlement, it’s now a haven for nature. The coastal area that NCC is working to conserve contains mature forest and provides an important land buffer for nearby seabird colonies. A section of the East Coast Trail runs through the spectacular property on the way to Cape Spear.
"ExxonMobil Canada supports programs that promote science education and help protect the environment. The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Freshwater Bay project meets both of those goals," said Peter Larden, president of ExxonMobil Canada. "Once established, the Freshwater Bay Nature Reserve will help conserve the area’s boreal forest and wetlands. The area can also be used as an outdoor classroom to learn about conservation and conduct research."
In addition to the support from ExxonMobil Canada, NCC has received donations from the Presentation Sisters, the Sisters of Mercy, the Patten Family Foundation and many individual local donors. NCC needs to raise an additional $200,000 to cover costs associated with conserving the site in Freshwater Bay, including an endowment fund that will support the management of the land for the long term.
NCC has been working in Newfoundland and Labrador since 1996, and has helped conserve more than 13,000 acres (5,200 hectares) of ecologically-significant land across the province, including a site near Freshwater Bay in Maddox Cove that also includes a portion of the East Coast Trail.
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