Island off New Brunswick coast donated to Nature Conservancy

·2 min read

A 58-hectare island in the Northumberland Strait has been donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Donated by Glen and Jane-Anne Campbell, the Ephraim Island Nature Reserve features salt marsh and forest and is located 15 kilometres southwest of the Confederation Bridge and the Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area.

The Campbells said they were concerned about cottage development disrupting natural shore habits. An estimated 65 per cent of the Maritimes’ salt marsh habitat has been lost to coastal development in the past 300 years, according to the NCC.

“Many years ago, my wife and I came across a beautiful New Brunswick island and salt marsh which were about to be developed for cottages. We were determined to keep it wild forever, so we bought the land to protect it,” said Glen Campbell. Now, through working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, it is “a permanent nature reserve and safe haven for shorebirds and wildlife,” he said.

The salt marsh, a type of wetland, has been deemed provincially significant because of its value for many species, especially migratory and shorebirds, including great blue heron, willet, black duck, green-winged teal, greater yellowlegs, semipalmated sandpiper and semipalmated plover, the NCC said in a news release. It is also a place where salt marsh sedge, skunk cabbage and checkered rattlesnake plantain can thrive.

Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s minister of environment and climate change, said in a statement that the donation furthers the pursuit of a much bigger goal: conserving a quarter of Canada’s land and a quarter of its oceans by 2025.

The NCC said the donation marks the 1,500th ecological gift through a program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada since 1995 which has allowed Canadians with ecologically sensitive land to leave a legacy, while receiving tax benefits.

Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal