© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Julie Vasseur, program manager for P.E.I for Nature Conservancy Canada, speaks during an interview Tuesday.
Two areas in Prince Edward Island have been targeted for immediate protection by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
The non-profit organization is launching a public fundraising effort to preserve them.
In the Blooming Point-St. Peter’s Harbour areas, a local family wants to donate prime habitat in honour of their late parents. The property is in the immediate area of other NCC-protected lands. The second location, also in close vicinity, is an effort by NCC to protect sand dunes and wetlands from residential development.
The land conservation charity is also in talks with private land owners in Percival River, near Egmont Bay. NCC is trying to acquire priority areas identified for habitat protection and build ion previous projects in this section of the province.
Andrew Holland, communications director for the Atlantic region of NCC, thinks making a $40 donation in someone else’s name is the perfect Christmas gift for that someone who’s into land conservancy.
That $40 donation buys a symbolic acre of land.
“The person you give it to gets a letter in the mail and it’s a way for people to protect the natural beauty of P.E.I.,’’ Holland said.
Julie Vasseur, program manager with NCC, said the first thing people think of when they think of P.E.I. are the beaches, the sand and the dunes. Vasseur noted the sites NCC wants to protect have a lot of cultural and ecological significance, explaining that St. Peter’s Harbour was historically the most populated township in the province after the arrival of the French Europeans.
“There are families who have owned land in the area for almost 200 years,’’ Vasseur said. “Today, a stretch of beach between Blooming Point and St. Peter’s Harbour is a favourite with locals and visitors and it’s one of P.E.I.’s most popular beaches.
“However, the frequent use has tramped down the seas of marram grass whose roots hold the dunes together and prevent further erosion in the ecosystem.’’
NCC needs to raise $180,000 from the private sector to protect the two lands on P.E.I., which total 118 acres.
For more information, go to www.natureconservancy.ca/pe or call 1-877-231-4400.