Bobolink (Photo by Bill Hubick)
Help protect a key piece of Wolfe Island coastline
At the eastern end of Lake Ontario, like a stopper at the top of the St. Lawrence River, Wolfe Island is simultaneously the most easterly of the Great Lakes islands and also the largest island in the Thousand Islands archipelago. Known as Ganounkouesnot, which for the Tyendinaga Mohawk Nation means Long Island Standing Up, Wolfe Island is a place of biological, historical and cultural significance. Serving as a stopover for waterfowl and other migratory birds, it provides wintering grounds for snowy owl, gyrfalcon, rough-legged hawk and other northern raptors. The island is a vibrant agricultural community and is a favourite destination for birders and photographers.
Wolfe Island was granted to Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, as part of the seigneury of Frontenac by Louis XIV, King of France on the May 13, 1675. The original European land settlements on the island were laid out by the French on the northwestern shore of the island. The most westerly of these old parcels is now called Staley Point. Located on the extreme northwestern corner of Wolfe Island, the Staley Point property is 40 hectares (100 acres) of cobble beaches, forest, marsh wetlands and open meadow.
Staley Point’s large marsh wetlands on the south side of the property filter water flowing off the island into Lake Ontario, while providing habitat for an impressive suite of waterfowl. The expansive grasslands are home to large numbers of migratory, at-risk birds, such as bobolink and eastern meadowlark, and provide habitat for the endangered monarch along its epic migration route.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has the opportunity to purchase this special place; however, we have a deadline, and the door on this vital conservation project is closing fast. NCC must raise $1.15 million by December to protect this key part of Lake Ontario’s natural heritage.
Eastern Lake Ontario coast — a priority for conservation
Monarch (Photo by NCC)
NCC is actively working to help conserve priority lands around the Lake Ontario coast, stretching from Brighton and Presqu’ile Provincial Park to just west of Gananoque, and south to include Prince Edward County and coastal islands. This scenic and historic landscape contains a rich mosaic of coastal wetlands, forests, streams, sand beaches and dunes, islands and alvars. It includes world-class coastline and provides critical habitat for grassland and migratory birds. The area is home to a multitude of plant and animal species, many of which are provincially, nationally and globally rare.