NCC expands Abram Village nature reserve
Salt marsh, wildlife habitat and coastline protected
Thanks to its partners and donors, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has expanded its nature reserve in Abram Village by 10 hectares (24 acres), providing greater protection for one of the Island’s largest remaining salt marshes.
The 10 hectares (24 acres) newly conserved by NCC is mainly forested and borders the Abram Village salt marsh. Because only one per cent of PEI’s landmass is made up of salt marshes, these ecosystems are critically important for conservation, both for wildlife and local communities. Salt marshes play a crucial role in buffering coastal communities from rising sea levels and more frequent storm events. Protecting salt marshes is an important way to adapt to a changing climate and minimize coastal erosion, a growing concern for Islanders.
The Abram Village salt marsh also provides vital habitat for many species of birds, including great blue heron, red-breasted merganser, American black duck, Nelson’s sparrow, willet, belted kingfisher and common goldeneye. With this latest addition to its nature reserve, NCC has conserved a total of 79 hectares (194 acres) in Abram Village. By conserving forested land next to the salt marsh, NCC is helping the marsh better adapt to climate change, storm surges and rising sea levels.
Salt marshes played an important role in PEI’s history. Salt marsh hay was a valuable resource that helped pioneer families survive long winters by providing feed for their livestock. Unfortunately, many salt marshes were drastically altered in the process of harvesting the marsh hay and rich “mussel mud,” which was used as fertilizer. The result is that PEI’s coastline has fewer intact salt marshes than other parts of Atlantic Canada.
Funding for this conservation project was provided by the Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program and by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. American Friends of Canadian Nature, Cooke Insurance Group and many individual donors also supported this project.
“We would like to thank all our supporters, in particular the Government of Canada and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for helping us purchase this key property and protect the salt marsh in Abram Village. The Abram Village salt marsh is not only a haven for wildlife, in its natural state, it provides many benefits to the community, by acting as a storm buffer and nursery for marine life, including commercial fish species.” - Lanna Campbell, PEI program director, Nature Conservancy of Canada
“The Nature Conservancy of Canada, with the support of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program, is further protecting one of Prince Edward Island’s largest salt marshes. This salt marsh in Abram Village protects biodiversity and provides the community with a natural buffer against storms. By preserving this important ecosystem, we’re ensuring that wildlife and local communities can thrive for generations to come.” - The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
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. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has protected 31,500 hectares (78,000 acres) of ecologically significant land in Atlantic Canada. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.
The Government of Canada's Natural Heritage Conservation Program is a unique public-private partnership to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern Canada. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) manages the program. Federal funds are matched by contributions raised by NCC and its partners. Habitat conserved under the NACP enhances natural corridors and other protected areas.
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