Ho­tel for birds

Plan hatched to se­cure Hol­man Is­land as bird sanc­tu­ary

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - HOT ONLINE - BY DE­SIREE ANSTEY

“Even­tu­ally, the birds will re­turn, and that’s why it’s so im­por­tant to pro­tect coastal off­shore Is­lands, like Hol­man’s. So they re­main an iso­lated habi­tat for per­pe­tu­ity and are al­ways avail­able for birds to nest on.” Julie Vasseur, pro­gram di­rec­tor, Na­ture Con­ser­vancy of Canada

Hol­man Is­land in Bedeque Bay is tran­quil and breath­tak­ing and once housed one of Canada’s first ma­jor re­sorts, but is also home to some spec­tac­u­lar bird species.

Al­though the bare bones of the re­sort still re­main (af­ter it was aban­doned and burned down), an am­bi­tious fundrais­ing pro­ject by the Na­ture Con­ser­vancy of Canada (NCC) is at­tempt­ing to pre­serve the 90-acre area of eco­log­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Julie Vasseur, pro­gram di­rec­tor with the NCC, said the pro­ject to se­cure the Is­land will soon be fi­nal­ized.

“We are in the midst of dot­ting I’s and cross­ing the T’s, so to speak,” said Vasseur.

“As part of our agree­ment with the fed­eral govern­ment, we are ob­li­gated to in­form them of our progress. So that ef­fort is un­der­way. We also have a meet­ing next week with lo­cal Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, Bobby Mor­ris­sey. “I would an­tic­i­pate that once all the fund­ing part­ners are no­ti­fied, pa­per­work is fi­nal­ized, and we have re­ceived dates that are suit­able for ev­ery­one, we will up­date the pub­lic.”

The to­tal con­ser­va­tion pro­ject — that in­cludes ac­quir­ing the land, ad­min­is­tra­tive ex­penses, le­gal fees and ap­praisals, and var­i­ous other costs — comes to more than $500,000.

It’s im­por­tant to nail down the pro­ject in or­der to per­pet­u­ally of­fer a safe haven for mi­grat­ing and nest­ing birds, in par­tic­u­lar great blue herons, Vasseur said. The ma­jes­tic crane-like birds nest un­der the green canopy of the ma­ture Aca­dian For­est, and cruise along the coast­line in search of fish.

“Even­tu­ally, the birds will re­turn, and that’s why it’s so im­por­tant to pro­tect coastal off­shore Is­lands, like Hol­man’s,” said Vasseur. “So they re­main an iso­lated habi­tat for per­pe­tu­ity and are al­ways avail­able for birds to nest on.”

The NCC plans to raise money to ad­dress any man­age­ment is­sues on the Is­land. This in­cludes cov­er­ing the open­ings of the wells lo­cated at the ho­tel site with wildlife grates, and in­stalling in­ter­pre­tive signs on se­lect ar­eas of the shore­line, for any­one vis­it­ing.

Any­one who would like to know more about the NCC con­ser­va­tion pro­ject can con­tact the P.E.I. of­fice on: 902-892-3608, or visit the web­site: na­ture­con­ser­vancy.ca.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.