Crown Point headland, home to a diverse range of coastal and wetland wildlife, has been secured by Island Nature Trust thanks to support from Environment and Climate Change Canada, MapleCross Fund, and a senate of individual Islanders.
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 setting now protected for generations of Islanders to appreciate forever.
The proximity of this undeveloped headland to the growing community of Stratford 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 INT’s request for support and worked to ensure they did not need to carry a loan from their 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. The extensive salt marsh wetlands along this stretch of shoreline 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.
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. INT acquires, manages, and protects forever a network of natural areas throughout PEI for the benefit of wildlife and local people. They are a key provider of technical, science-based knowledge on land stewardship and wildlife in PEI for landowners, governments, and partner environmental groups.
Purchase of this property by Island Nature Trust has the blessing of the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI.