Batchewana Island, Lake Superior, Ontario (Photo by Robert Cormier)
The largest privately owned island in Lake Superior — now protected!
Surrounded by Batchawana Bay, 60 kilometres northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, the undeveloped, 2,076-hectare Batchewana Island (also spelled “Batchawana”) boasts 27 kilometres of shoreline — from sandy and cobble beaches to rocky cliffs — and mature, intact forests and wetlands.
The island’s forests and wetlands are prime habitat for migratory birds to rest during their journeys north and south each spring and fall. Gray wolf, black bear, moose and more than 30 provincially significant bird species prowl, forage, den, nest and fly through the island’s woods. Many fish, including endangered lake sturgeon, spawn offshore in the shallows.
Thanks to the generous support of partners, public and private donors, and the local community, NCC has acquired Batchewana Island. The island - the largest privately owned island in Lake Superior - is now protected from the threat of development.
The forests and wetlands of Batchewana Island will continue to support many species and by remaining intact, its natural features will continue to help lessen the impacts of climate change by absorbing carbon emissions from around the world. In fact, the carbon stored here is equivalent to the energy used by over 500,000 homes annually.
A conservation priority
Situated at the top of the chain of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake by area and is rich in natural and human history. It is also a lake of extraordinary biodiversity, supporting a variety of fishes, including a unique deepwater form of lake trout (siscowet lake trout), diverse coastal wetlands, extensive sandy beaches, cool coastlines and islands. The Lake Superior basin supports vast tracts of coniferous and mixed forest, wetlands, barrens, cliffs, and inland rivers and lakes.
The protection of Batchewana Island contributes to a network of protected areas in the southeastern portion of Lake Superior, helping to ensure corridors for wide-ranging wildlife.
NCC has been working in this natural area for over 20 years and has helped to protect over 9,000 hectares of ecologically significant habitat.
- Location: Island in Batchawana Bay, 60 kilometres northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
- Habitat type: Great Lakes shoreline, deciduous and mixed forests, wetland
- Size: 2,076 hectares
- Species: gray wolf, American black bear, moose, North American river otter, lake sturgeon (endangered), rusty blackbird (special concern)
A natural legacy
When it comes to conserving Canada’s most important natural areas, protecting land is just the beginning. Stewardship — caring for the land for the long term — is at the heart of what we do. Each and every property we protect is monitored and managed so that the ecosystems are maintained and species thrive, even if that means leaving it be. This can include mapping and removing invasive species, restoring wetlands, grasslands and forests, monitoring for species at risk, planting native species, building trails or installing signage.
To continue to care for the natural areas we protect, NCC has created a Stewardship Endowment Fund. This fund provides annual support for our priority stewardship work across Ontario. Annual benefits from the endowment fund are used to pay the costs necessary to ensure efficient and long-term, science-based management of lands under our care.
NCC may direct all or a portion of gifts committed to this project to NCC’s Stewardship Endowment Fund for Ontario. Revenue generated by the fund provides for long-term management on properties across the province, including Batchewana Island and others in the Lake Superior Natural Area.
For more information or to discuss your donation options, please contact:
Pia Kaukoranta Vahabi
Director of Development & Communication (acting)