Pro­tect­ing salt marshes

NCC wants to ac­quire valu­able marshes in Prince County

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE -

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

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.

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,’’ 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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy of Canada is look­ing to pre­serve salt marshes like this one lo­cated in the western part of Prince Ed­ward Is­land.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy of Canada is look­ing to pur­chase land in P.E.I. near the Per­ci­val River area de­scribed as one of the best ex­am­ples of a con­nected land­scape re­main­ing in the prov­ince.

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