Less than an hour from Quebec City lies the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area. In addition to the bulrush marshes that provide an important migratory stopover for the greater snow goose, the area is home to numerous bird species. This includes several at-risk species such as the least bittern, bobolink, yellow rail and Eastern meadowlark. Well-known and frequently visited by birders and other outdoor enthusiasts, this area is a symbol of successful habitat protection.
In 1981, Cap Tourmente was recognized as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, becoming the first site to earn this distinction in North America. Interestingly, it is also home to a National Historic Site, which includes the remains of Samuel de Champlain’s farm.
In the 1980s and 1990s, DUC developed the 9.6-acre (3.9-hectare) Grande-Ferme and the 12.4-acre (5.0-hectare) Des Graves marshes at Cap Tourmente. These marshes had been home to a wide variety of wildlife for more than 40 years, but over time the natural function of the area was eroded. Restoration work was needed to ensure that these habitats would remain healthy and productive into the future.
“Looking back at what we’ve already accomplished this year at Cap Tourmente, in the Grande-Ferme and Des Graves marshes, we feel a great deal of pride,” says André Michaud, DUC’s restoration program manager in Quebec. “For us, it was essential to ensure the structures we built several decades ago would continue to meet the needs of wildlife. We can now say, mission accomplished.”
The marshes at Cap Tourmente are treasured by the community, which made working on this restoration project particularly special to DUC’s Quebec team members. These exceptional wetlands will now function for years to come, benefitting biodiversity and visitors alike —a legacy for future generations of nature lovers.
This restoration project was made possible by a multi-year agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). DUC has been granted nearly $1.8 million over four years to restore several wetlands in the Cap-Tourmente and Baie-de-L’Isle-Verte National Wildlife Areas. Requiring effective collaboration, these large-scale projects are a fine example of the lasting relationship between DUC and ECCC.
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