Protecting salt marshes

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A conservancy group is looking to purchase land in western P.E.I. to help protect valuable salt marshes.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) needs to raise another $15,000 to purchase private land in the Percival River area, about 40 kilometres west of Summerside.

The NCC is looking to protect an additional 71 hectares of land to 85 hectares already protected in the area.

The Percival River area is described as one of the best examples of a connected landscape remaining in the province.

RELATED: Land in St. Peters Harbour donated to Nature Conservancy of Canada

Heavily forested, the area is home to freshwater wetlands, salt marsh, numerous songbirds, aquatic mammals like beavers, and plants like the marsh marigold.

Julie Vasseur, P.E.I. program director for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, says the main goal in this area is to protect the salt marshes, which are considered to be the most intact, with the deepest organic layer remaining in the province.

"It's generally regarded that coastal wetlands like salt marshes are one of the best absorbers and storers of carbon dioxide.'' Julie Vasseur, P.E.I. program director for the Nature Conservancy of Canada

"It's generally regarded that coastal wetlands like salt marshes are one of the best absorbers and storers of carbon dioxide,'' she says.

"So, when we lose a salt marsh to development, not only are we losing a carbon sink (a place where carbon gets absorbed), but we are also releasing all the carbon that the salt marsh was storing back into the atmosphere.''

The NCC is also working to acquire from private landowners 31 acres of land at Howe Bay on the eastern coast of P.E.I.

To learn more about NCC's work in the province or to make a donation, contact Julie Vasseur at 902-569-8400 or by email at julie.vasseur@natureconservancy.

 

Organizations: NCC

Geographic location: P.E.I., Canada, Percival River Summerside Howe Bay

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