138 hectares (335 acres) of wetland protected in Norfolk County
Nature Conservancy of Canada conserves two new properties on Long Point
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) today announced the conservation of 138 hectares (335 acres) of wetland, shoreline, fields and forests in Norfolk County.
The historic 125-hectare (302-acre) Flight Club Marsh, formerly a private hunt club dating back to the late 1800s, provides important habitat for waterfowl and other species. The nearby 13-hectare (33-acre) Hahn’s Woods contains important nesting and breeding habitat for wood ducks among its nine hectares (23 acres) of swamp forest. Both properties protect Lake Erie shoreline and are located in the Big Creek watershed. They are adjacent to the Big Creek National Wildlife Area, managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service, and are part of the Long Point Provincially Significant Wetland Complex.
Wetlands are important to the health of the local watershed. They mitigate floods by absorbing and holding water like a giant sponge, and improve drinking water quality by filtering nutrients and removing sediment. They are also important feeding and breeding habitat for waterfowl and other bird species, including American black duck, blue-winged teal and wood duck.
For over 150 years, private hunt clubs have played a pivotal role in the conservation of the marshes surrounding Long Point Bay. From their early interest in protecting these lands from poaching, drainage and development, to the present day where sustainable harvest practices and diligent land protection and restoration remain a strong focus, these clubs have been and continue to be conservation leaders.
These important local land purchases were made possible thanks to the generosity of many donors, including SC Johnson, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund, and private donors.
Over the next year, NCC will undertake biological inventories and community partner consultations to develop a long-term management plan for these properties. NCC recognizes the important role hunters play in managing Long Point’s wetlands and welcomes comments from interested individuals and organizations on the future management of these wetlands.
“Wetlands are among the most productive and important ecosystems on Earth. They provide habitat for wildlife, act as nurseries for fish, reduce flooding and clean our water. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is proud to be the new owner of the Flight Club Marsh and part of a landscape-scale collaboration to ensure the Big Creek marshes continue to provide critical habitat for waterfowl and other species.” - Kristen Bernard, Program Director for southwestern Ontario, Nature Conservancy of Canada
“Through the Canada Nature Fund’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program, our government is supporting the conservation of Flight Club Marsh and Hahn’s Woods, in Ontario. These areas include wetlands that provide habitat for waterfowl, mitigate floods, filter drinking water and help fight climate change. By working with partners like the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we are protecting our natural environment for generations to come. Together, we are making progress toward our goal of conserving a quarter of Canada’s land by 2025.” – The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- Flight Club Marsh provides stopover habitat for migrating tundra swans to rest and forage during the spring and fall.
- National Wildlife Areas are created and managed for the purposes of wildlife conservation, research, and interpretation. In total, Environment and Climate Change Canada's 55 National Wildlife Areas protect over 2.1 million hectares of habitat.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, with more than 84,000 hectares (207,000 acres) in Ontario. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.
The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community.
Video and images
Images available at https://adobe.ly/2CMtor9
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