Crown Point headland, home to a diverse range of coastal and wetland wildlife, has been secured by Island Nature Trust thanks to the outstanding support of Environment and Climate Change Canada, MapleCross Fund, and roughly one hundred individual Islanders. When INT first invited the public to donate towards its acquisition in February, it was a land in hibernation – lying dormant under a crisp layer of snow. With Spring now fully sprung, this dynamic natural space is starting to reveal its gifts for Islanders to discover. It is a land waking up!
Amid the turbulence of COVID-19, the acquisition of Crown Point with its multitude of flora and fauna is a healing balm for the human spirit. It is a kingdom teeming with wildlife. The 120-acre land parcel now protected is a rich mix of salt marsh, coastal cliff, forested bluff and peatland habitats that provide homes for countless birds and small mammals. Water-birds forage along the tideline while harbour seals loaf offshore in a vibrant setting that will now be protected for generations of Islanders to appreciate forever.
The proximity of this undeveloped headland to the growing community of Stratford, PEI meant the window to secure its protection was limited. Stratford is experiencing extensive population growth, placing the nearby coastal ecosystem under pressure from both land and sea. Holding this land in trust means Island Nature Trust can protect this critical bionetwork and coastal interface in perpetuity. MapleCross Fund and individual Islanders heard the urgency of our requests for support and worked at the eleventh hour to ensure we did not need to carry a loan from our sister land trust in Nova Scotia.
With over 90% of PEI’s coastline in private ownership, human use can and does impact on the sharing of coastal resources. This stretch of shoreline with its extensive salt marsh wetlands are critical resting places for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl moving north – south on the Atlantic Migratory Flyway. Casting an eye ahead, Island Nature Trust hopes to work with new neighbours and supporters to protect the broader span of continuous saltmarsh along Pownal Bay, China Point and Orwell Bay for these long-distance wild migrants. This acquisition experience has shown us once again that we can depend on the incredible generosity of the people of Prince Edward Island as well as regional and national conservation partners to support the conservation of our iconic red Island shores.
Notes to editors:
- Island Nature Trust is the oldest private land trust, working since 1979 to protect land in PEI and manage it responsibly. INT is an independent, membership-based, nongovernment, Canadian charity that is province-wide in scope and fuelled by the passion of Islanders for their beautiful rural island landscape. We work to conserve land for its intrinsic value so that we continue to benefit from the natural services it provides for the community – clean water, clean air and a livable environment.
- Island Nature Trust acquires, manages, and protects forever a network of natural areas throughout PEI for the benefit of wildlife and local people. Over the course of 40 years, we have acquired and provide stewardship for over 5,000 acres of land in 53 natural areas across the province. These conservation achievements would not be possible without the engagement and continued support of Island communities. We are a key provider of technical, science-based knowledge on land stewardship and wildlife in PEI for landowners, governments, and partner environmental groups.
- This acquisition is part of a collaborative effort of the three regional Maritime land trusts (Island Nature Trust, Nature Trust of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Nature Trust), targeting wetland and adjoining upland securement in areas with healthy, diverse coastal and riparian wetland.
- 118 acres have been acquired with donations of over $80,000 received from the public towards its acquisition.
- The majority contribution was funded through the Canada Nature Fund (Environment and Climate Change Canada), North American Waterfowl Management Plan, Eastern Habitat Joint Venture supporting portion.
- Purchase of this property by Island Nature Trust has the blessing of the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island.
Ben Russell – Communications Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan Harris – Executive Director email@example.com