Oakland, Lunenburg Co, Nova Scotia – Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has signed a stewardship agreement with the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) to protect 10 acres of wetland and upland habitat near Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. The property is in the community of Oakland and contains a cattail marsh with a treed edge, and a large open meadow. The wetland, known locally as Sweet Marsh, was purchased by MODL in the fall of 2020 along with a nearby beach.
DUC was consulted by MODL last year about how best to manage and care for their newly acquired wetland property.
“What impressed me most about working with the Municipality was their excitement and willingness to conserve this wetland in its natural state, to be protected in perpetuity for locals and visitors alike,” says Emma Bocking, conservation programs specialist with DUC.
“We’re very pleased to have this opportunity to work with Ducks Unlimited Canada to protect the Sweet Marsh. This will allow us to preserve valuable ecosystems and improves resiliency in the face of climate change,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson.
The marsh and treed riparian edge offer good habitat for ducks and other birds like American bitterns and red-winged blackbirds. Sweet Marsh is publicly accessible and provides opportunities for recreation, such as bird-watching and hiking.
Like all wetlands, Sweet Marsh provides a suite of other ecosystem services to the watershed including water filtration, sediment retention, water cooling and flood control. Healthy, functioning wetlands are particularly valuable in settled areas because they can store water during times of flooding and release water during dry summer months.
“We are starting to see more and more municipalities accounting for wetlands and other natural areas as assets—natural assets—when planning for climate change and community resiliency. It is encouraging to see these systems valued for the whole range of functions and services they can provide to communities and be protected for future generations,” says Bocking.
Funding to support this project was provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry through the Southwest Nova Scotia Priority Place Fund (Canada Nature Fund).
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment.
For more information, please contact:
Conservation Programs Specialist, Nova Scotia