Nature Conservancy of Canada acquires four sites totaling 1,077 acres in New Brunswick's Musquash Estuary with support from federal Natural Areas Conservation Program; properties are primarily forested with balsam fir, spruce, cedar and birch

MUSQUASH, New Brunswick , May 22, 2014 (press release) – Nature Conservancy of Canada conserves more forest, salt marsh

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has expanded its nature reserve around the Musquash Estuary, west of Saint John. NCC has purchased forested and salt marsh sites surrounding the estuary to protect water quality and to provide habitat for wildlife to flourish.work

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has acquired four sites for conservation around the Musquash Estuary totalling 1,077 acres (435 hectares) through land purchases supported in part by the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program. With the addition of these protected lands, over 86 percent of the shoreline around the Musquash Estuary Marine Protected Area is now managed for conservation. NCC manages more than 4,100 acres (1,600 hectares) around the estuary, with diverse habitats such as cobble and sand beaches, mudflats, salt marshes, rocky headlands, peat bogs and coastal forests.

Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John and Paula Noel, Nature Conservancy of Canada Program Manager for New Brunswick, were present today to make the announcement at the Five Fathom Hole Wharf, overlooking the Musquash Estuary.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada wishes to recognize the Government of Canada for supporting this important project through the Natural Area Conservation Program. NCC also wishes to acknowledge support from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, along with many local donors.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada maintains two hiking trails along the Musquash Estuary that allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of this special place. NCC will be hosting its annual Trailblazers Conservation Volunteer event on May 24th and is inviting the public to come out and help maintain these coastal trails by trimming branches, replace trail markers and signs.

Quotes:
“We are pleased to expand our work in the Musquash Estuary, protecting ecologically significant lands,” said Paula Noel, New Brunswick program manager for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "This means we have surpassed a major milestone in Musquash and we look forward to talking with additional private land owners in hopefully conserving additional sites for the many plants and species that rely on the habitats here."

“The variety of habitats, including old-growth forest, makes these properties and surrounding area excellent habitat for large mammals such as moose, white-tailed deer and black bear,” said Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John. “Your actions today will help to protect the abundance and diversity of life that will constitute an integral part of our natural heritage tomorrow.”

“Since the inception of the Natural Areas Conservation Program in 2007, we have been working with our partners to acquire land that will benefit Canada’s biodiversity and protect habitat for sensitive species,” said John Williamson, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest. “I am proud to announce yet another successful acquisition that furthers the goal of conserving our natural heritage and wildlife over the long term.”

Facts:

  • The Musquash Estuary was designated New Brunswick’s only federal Marine Protected Area in 2006. This designation protects the waters of the estuary. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been working since 2001 to protect the land surrounding the estuary.
  • An estuary is a body of water formed where freshwater from rivers and streams flows into the ocean, mixing with the seawater. Estuaries and the lands surrounding them are places of transition from freshwater to saltwater.
  • The Musquash Estuary is one of the largest undeveloped estuaries left in the Lower Bay of Fundy.
  • The forests surrounding the Musquash Estuary contain exemplary old stands of large red spruce and cedar and provide habitat for moose, deer and bear.
  • These new properties are primarily forested with balsam fir, black and red spruce, eastern white cedar and white and yellow birch, and include some river frontage on the Musquash marsh.
Learn more:
The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program is a $245-million investment to assist non-profit, non-government organizations to secure ecologically sensitive lands to ensure the conservation of our diverse ecosystems, wildlife and habitat. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been entrusted to lead the program and has committed to raising matching funds for each federal dollar received.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading 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 more than 2.6 million acres (over 1 million hectares), coast to coast. More than 15,700 of these acres are in New Brunswick www.natureconservancy.ca/nb.


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