Volunteers taking a break during the Percival River Beach cleanup (Photo by Sean Landsman)

Volunteers taking a break during the Percival River Beach cleanup (Photo by Sean Landsman)

Nature Conservancy of Canada expands protected area on Percival River on World Environment Day

June 5, 2019
Summerside, Prince Edward Island


Coastal forest and wetlands donated in memory of Stanley G. Bryant

On World Environment Day the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is announcing it has conserved a valuable wetland, salt marsh and forest habitat along the Percival River in Egmont Bay, west of Summerside.

The 35-hectare (87-acre) coastal property was donated to NCC by Anne Louise Boswall, of Ogden, Quebec, and conserved through the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program and Natural Areas Conservation Program.

The Stanley G. Bryant Nature Reserve features a 9-hectare (22-acre) freshwater wetland and a 3.5-hectare (8.5-acre) salt marsh, both of which are important habitats for many species of birds. 

The new reserve, named for Anne Louise Boswall’s grandfather, expands the total NCC-conserved land along the Percival River to 221 hectares (547 acres). 

Because the Egmont Bay region is low-lying and naturally boggy, it was considered unsuitable for farming and much of it remained wild. Now the region’s intact wetlands and forests are some of the most ecologically significant wild habitats remaining on PEI. They are a haven for wildlife, in particular American black duck, Canada goose, Nelson’s sparrow and many other species of migratory birds.

Provincially rare trees such as black ash and eastern white cedar are found in the Percival River area, as well as the Island’s highest diversity of lichens.

Egmont Bay and Percival River are conservation priorities for NCC and its partners due to their extensive salt marshes and wetlands, and also because they fall within one of only two large forested corridors remaining on PEI. The West Prince forest corridor runs from Egmont Bay and the Percival River in the south, to the Conway Sandhills in the north.

Conserving connected areas of wilderness like those found in the West Prince forest corridor is one of the most essential ways to maintain biological diversity.

Conservation of this property was made possible with the financial support of the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program and Ecological Gifts Program.

NCC also received support from J.D.Irving Ltd, Cooke Insurance, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Individual donors also supported the project.


“The Nature Conservancy of Canada wishes to thank Anne Louise Boswall for this generous land donation. We are also grateful to the Government of Canada and our many supporters for helping us conserve this special place. The forests, salt marshes and wetlands along the Percival River are some of the most wild and undisturbed habitats remaining on PEI, and we are delighted to be expanding our nature reserve here.”

Lanna Campell, PEI Program Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“Together with partners like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Anne Louise Boswall, our government is making progress towards doubling the amount of nature protected across Canada’s lands and oceans. Recent scientific reports have shown that our biodiversity is under threat and our government is taking action to protect nature and the habitats of the plants and animals we love. Through programs like the Ecological Gifts Program and the Natural Areas Conservation Program, we’re ensuring that nature is protected for future generations and continues to connect Canadians to our environment and heritage.” 

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“I am so delighted this beautiful part of Prince Edward Island will always remain wild and a home for wildlife.  It gives me great peace of mind knowing the Nature Conservancy of Canada will be taking care of it and my grandfather would be very pleased to know a place he loved will be conserved forever.”

Anne Louise Boswall, land donor


  • Some of the funding for this conservation project was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, a U.S. Act passed by the United States Congress in 1989 to conserve North American wetland ecosystems and waterfowl. For more information, visit  fws.gov/birds/grants/north-american-wetland-conservation-act.php.
  • A survey of the property by the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre found many uncommon plant species on the property such as Vermont blackberry and Canada manna grass.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada 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 protect more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres), coast to coast. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved more than 30,500 hectares (77,000 acres) in the Atlantic provinces. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) was established to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern Canada.  Federal funds invested in the public-private partnership program were matched by contributions raised by NCC and its partners.  Habitat conserved under the NACP will enhance natural corridors and other protected areas.

The NACP concluded March 31, 2019.  It has been replaced by Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP), which will continue to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. 

A portion of this project was donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada under the Ecological Gifts Program, which provides enhanced tax benefits for individuals or corporations donating ecologically significant land.

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Media Contact:

Kathryn Morse
Director of Communications - Atlantic Provinces

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