NCC aiming to expand in Lobster Bay
Goal to protect species at risk
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is spearheading a campaign to conserve two parcels of land totalling 47.5 hectares (117 acres) near its existing nature reserve in Lobster Bay. Two private landowners have offered to sell their pristine coastal properties to NCC for conservation. The properties, located on Roberts Island, about 20 kilometres east of Yarmouth, feature native forest, rare plants and salt marshes, and provide habitat for black duck, willet and other bird species.
“With the help of our supporters, we have an opportunity to protect these important coastal sites on the South Shore and ensure they always remain wild,” says Craig Smith, NCC’s Nova Scotia program director. “If we can protect these marsh habitats in Lobster Bay, we will also help protect the coastal life which is so important to this part of Nova Scotia.”
Southwestern Nova Scotia is a priority area for NCC’s conservation work due to the region’s abundant, healthy and ecologically significant coastal habitats, large forested areas and species at risk. NCC’s has helped establish several nature reserves on the South Shore, including Gaff Point, Lunenburg County; Port Joli, Queens County; and Lobster Bay, Yarmouth County.
Lobster Bay features some of the most extensive and intact salt marshes on the South Shore, which provide habitat for shorebirds. It also provides habitat for eastern baccharis, a nationally threatened flowering shrub that, in Canada, can only be found in Lobster Bay. NCC has been working in southwestern Nova Scotia for 20 years and has protected approximately 8,000 hectares (19,760 acres) across the region.
NCC has secured 85 per cent of the funding for the Lobster Bay properties but must raise the final $35,000 from private donors by February. NCC is seeking support from individuals, businesses and community organizations in order to qualify for matched funding from the Government of Canada and other contributors. Once protected, the two properties will expand NCC’s Lobster Bay conservation area to 119.5 hectares (306 acres).
- The southwestern region of Nova Scotia was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2001. It is one of 18 such reserves in Canada, selected for its ecological and cultural features. There are only 650 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves worldwide.
- Eastern baccharis is a species of shrub found at the edge of salt marshes. The entire Canadian population is only a few thousand plants, located at two sites in Lobster Bay. Outside Canada, the species is found along the eastern seaboard of the United States, in Cuba and on Mexico’s Atlantic coast.
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