Freshwater Bay, NL (Photo by NCC)

Freshwater Bay, NL (Photo by NCC)

Government of Canada supports Freshwater Bay conservation project

August 27, 2019
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador


Charitable land trust seeking community donors to complete project

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to announce it is a step closer to completing a large coastal conservation project near St John’s, thanks to funding received from the Government of Canada.

The $43,000 federal contribution will support NCC’s Freshwater Bay project. The funding was provided through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, a program established by Environment and Climate Change Canada to support conservation of ecologically significant sites across Canada. 

The 98-hectare (243-acre) Freshwater Bay property, valued at $2.2 million, has been donated by the Crosbie Group Ltd to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for both conservation and recreation.

As a charitable land trust, NCC must raise money to cover its legal and other conservation costs, which include setting up an endowment fund to provide for long-term care of all properties, whether they are purchased or donated. 

NCC is actively seeking financial support from local businesses and community members to raise the final $150,000 in private donations required for the establishment, management and stewardship of the Freshwater Bay Nature Reserve.

Scenic Freshwater Bay is a popular destination for hikers and birders, with a section of the East Coast Trail running through it on the route to Cape Spear.

The property NCC is working to conserve is mainly forested, and provides an important land buffer for nearby seabird colonies of black-legged kittiwakes, black guillemots, herring gulls and great black-backed gulls, which nest along the cliffs between Freshwater Bay and Sprigg’s Point. 

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 wilderness in the province. NCC seeks to acquire properties like the one in Freshwater Bay, which offer opportunities for both conservation and community enjoyment, to help connect Canadians to nature.

To learn more or make a donation, please call NCC program director Megan Lafferty in St John’s at 709-753-5540.


“The Freshwater Bay property is a unique conservation project for NCC because it’s so close to St. John’s, but is still a wild natural area. We would like to thank the Government of Canada for its valuable contribution.  Thanks to this support and donations from the community, we are close to protecting this land as a haven for both wildlife and people. NCC invites everyone with a passion for the outdoors to help us cross the finish line and conserve this beautiful land for all to enjoy.” - Megan Lafferty, NCC program director, Newfoundland and Labrador

“With the help of partners like the Nature Conservancy of Canada, our government is making progress towards doubling the amount of protected nature across Canada’s lands and oceans. Nature is central to our Canadian identity and by taking the initiative now to protect the Freshwater Bay property, we’re ensuring our kids and grandkids can connect to nature and experience its wonder.” - Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada


The Nature Conservancy of Canada is Canada’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization working to protect our most important natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain. Since 1962, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved 31,000 hectares (77,000 acres) in Atlantic Canada.

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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