Ducks Unlimited Canada celebrates land donation that protects critical salt marsh habitat and guards against sea-level rise
Shediac, N.B. – One of the last remaining sections of natural coastline in the popular beach community of Pointe-du-Chêne, located in Shediac, New Brunswick, will now be permanently conserved by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), thanks to the generosity of the Anglican Parish of Shediac.
Located across from a densely populated residential area of cottages, this ecologically significant salt marsh property near Parlee Beach has been owned by the Anglican Parish of Shediac since 1828.
“The desire to have this land maintained for conservation purposes became a topic discussed on a regular basis in our Parish Land Office and Committee,” says the Anglican Parish of Shediac. “The Parish partnered with the Shediac Bay Watershed Association, and we supported their desire to partner with Ducks Unlimited Canada in this endeavour. We are excited to be a part of what is happening in our province with land conservation.”
Salt marshes are rich in biodiversity, serving as shelter for young wildlife such as lobster and salmon, and provide waterfowl and other birds with abundant habitat. This critical habitat also helps form a natural barrier that slows wave action and reduces storm surges that can result in floods, impacting the waterfowl, wildlife, and people who call these places home.
As sea levels rise, it’s a priority for DUC to conserve both salt marsh and undeveloped coastal lands so that there is room for the salt marsh to migrate inland. If there is no room for it to migrate, the marsh will disappear, and the coast will lose important wildlife habitat, as well as storm surge and flood protection.
“This hard-working salt marsh is a survivor that we’ll help sustain for the benefit of both wildlife and the local community,” says Adam Campbell, DUC’s manager of provincial operations for Atlantic Canada. “More than 65 per cent of New Brunswick’s salt marshes have been lost to coastal development. The remaining coastal infrastructure is a critical ally that we need to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise and hurricanes, which often demonstrate how beach communities like Pointe-du-Chêne are vulnerable to storm surges and flooding.”
Due to rising pressures from climate change, development and land conversion, significant salt marsh habitats have been lost and continue to disappear. The New Brunswick Wetlands Conservation Policy has classified all remaining salt marshes as provincially significant wetlands with the greatest level of protection. When coastal wetlands are lost, so too are the many critical benefits they provide, including shielding coastlines from erosion, intercepting pollution and providing clean water. DUC is working with conservation-minded landowners throughout Atlantic Canada to preserve and restore these important coastal ecosystems to ensure a healthy future.
“We are grateful for the support of the Anglican Parish of Shediac and their focus on environmental stewardship,” says Campbell. “Coastal wetlands and salt marshes are nature’s defence system against sea-level rise. Working together with partners, we can help restore and protect these crucial habitats.”
About Ducks Unlimited Canada: Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations, Indigenous Peoples and other landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. To learn more about DUC’s innovative environmental solutions and services, visit www.ducks.ca.
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