Baie Saint-Paul, QC (Photo by NCC)

Baie Saint-Paul, QC (Photo by NCC)

Nature Conservancy of Canada protects iconic Baie-Saint-Paul site

September 14, 2023
Baie-Saint-Paul, QC


200 hectares of flats and beach in Baie-Saint-Paul protected to maintain its long-term biodiversity

The Natural Conservancy Canada (NCC) announces the protection of 200 hectares of flats and beach in Baie-Saint-Paul, in the St. Lawrence Estuary. The charitable organization dedicated to the conservation of natural areas will work hand in hand with the City of Baie-Saint-Paul in the spirit of conserving fragile ecosystems and protecting the site’s long-term biodiversity.

The protected lands are recognized as an area of significance for aquatic birds due to the vastness of their marshes, which provide quality habitat for feeding and resting. More than 160 bird species, many of which are at risk, in particular yellow rail, designated a species of special concern in Canada according to the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrow, identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada, have been observed here.

Recognized for both its cultural and natural beauty as well as its breathtaking landscapes, the city of Baie-Saint-Paul in the Charlevoix region welcomes thousands of visitors each year. In conjunction with the City of Baie-Saint-Paul, the local community and NCC, efforts will be made to accommodate the various uses of the site, ensuring both public access to the beach and the protection of its fragile ecosystems. Interpretative signs lining a boardwalk will help the public appreciate the richness of the species found in this shoreline area.

Projects such as this one are a testament to NCC’s leadership in accelerating the pace of conservation in Canada. In the past two years alone, the organization has influenced the protection of more than 1 million hectares (almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island), coast to coast to coast. Over the next few years, NCC will double its impact by mobilizing Canadians and delivering permanent, large-scale conservation.

In the face of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, nature is our ally. There is no solution to either without nature conservation. The Nature Conservancy of Canada believes when nature thrives, we all thrive.


NCC recognizes the generous contributions made by its funders, whose involvement is vital: the Age of Union Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund. NCC would also like to thank resolute Forest Products and Geneviève Simard for their donation of land, a vital driver of this project.


"In a world where environmental challenges are increasingly urgent, we need to join forces to defend nature. Protecting the Baie-Saint-Paul beach and flats is a concrete example of our efforts in this direction and is particularly close to my heart given that this is where I've chosen to live for the past 20 years. This project was made possible thanks to the generous land donation of Geneviève Simard and Resolute Forest Products, and the contribution of our financial partners. We would also like to recognize the contribution of the City of Baie-Saint-Paul in promoting public access, while protecting our natural legacy."  – Claire Ducharme, regional vice-president, Quebec, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“I’m humbled to contribute to the safeguarding of 200 hectares of precious flats and beach in Baie-Saint-Paul, nestled within the embrace of the St. Lawrence Estuary. This partnership exemplifies the harmony of human and ecological interests, united in the shared goal of preserving our planet's delicate landscapes. By nurturing these vulnerable natural habitats, we are not only ensuring the protection of the region's diverse biodiversity, but also sowing seeds of inspiration for generations to come.” – Dax Dasilva, Founder of Age of Union

“Through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Government of Canada is making progress toward its goal of conserving a quarter of land and water in Canada by 2025, working toward 30 percent of each by 2030. By working with partners such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada and their generous donors, we are helping to protect the natural environment in Quebec and across the country. Protecting this land safeguards fragile ecosystems and provides quality habitats for more than 160 species of birds, all while maintaining access for public enjoyment and well-being.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“I'm proud and confident to have made this donation to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which not only has the scientific knowledge but also the logistical and financial resources to protect a place of this nature of great biodiversity. This donation will ensure its survival and keep it intact. And I hope it will inspire other owners.” - Geneviève Simard, donor of the land

“Resolute Forest Products is pleased to donate a 200-hectare parcel of land in Baie-Saint-Paul to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. We are proud to be one of the many contributors to this project, which aims to preserve this magnificent and uniquely valuable natural environment. We hope to encourage other similar initiatives.” – Étienne Vézina, Senior Director, Forestry – Resolute Forest Products 

"We are delighted to welcome the Nature Conservancy of Canada as a new partner in the protection of the environment, particularly in the sensitive area of the beach and flats of the Boisé du Quai. This is an exceptional area that forms part of our cultural heritage and is much appreciated by residents and visitors alike. We need to ensure its longevity so that future generations can also benefit from it.” – Michaël Pilote, Mayor, Baie-Saint-Paul


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses, and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. In Quebec, NCC partners regularly with Conservation de la nature Québec (CNQ), a non-profit organization that is distinct from NCC, to conserve Quebec’s richest natural areas. Together, the two organizations have conserved close to 50,000 hectares of natural areas in the province.

Age of Union is a non-profit environmental alliance that supports and makes visible a global community of change-makers working on-the-ground to protect the planet’s threatened species and ecosystems. Launched in October 2021 by tech leader and environmental activist Dax Dasilva in Montreal, Canada, Age of Union seeks to ignite a flame within every person through conservation efforts that solve critical environmental challenges around the world and inspire high-impact change by showing the positive impact that every individual can make.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) is a program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique partnership that supports the creation and recognition of protected and conserved areas through the acquisition of private land and private interest in land. To date, the Government of Canada has invested more than $440 million in the Program, which has been matched with more than $870 million in contributions raised by Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community, leading to the protection and conservation of more than 700,000 hectares of ecologically sensitive lands.

Resolute Forest Products is a leading producer of a diverse range of wood, pulp, tissue and paper products, which are marketed in 60 countries. The company operates some 40 facilities, as well as power generation assets, in the United States and Canada and has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. Resolute has received regional, North American and global recognition for its leadership in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, as well as for its business practices. Headquartered in Montreal (Quebec), the company is a part of the Paper Excellence Group. To learn more, visit resolutefp.com.

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Ania Wurster
Communication - marketing officer

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