The community really came together this year to preserve one of the largest natural wetlands on the north shore of Lake Ontario when more than $1 million was raised.
The 93-hectare property consists of 2.5 kilometres of undeveloped shoreline and coastal wetlands, and when Nature Conservancy Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada realized they were both interested in the same property, they decided to join forces to purchase it.
Erling Armson, Head of Land Securement, Invasive and Northern Programs for DU said he called Mark Stabb, program director for NCC, asking if he knew of the property, and found out they were both looking at it…and wondering where they were going to find the money.
The project was supported by federal dollars through the Natural Areas Conservation and funds were matched by other donors including the Municipality of Brighton, Lower Trent Conservation, Northumberland Land Trust, Lone Pine Land Trust, and many other nature clubs and individuals.
Stabb said that Brighton conservationist Doug Mccrae was instrumental in obtaining support from the local community.
An important stopover site for migratory birds on their long journeys, the Brighton Wetland is a large, intact, coastal wetland located near Presqu’ile Provincial Park. This unique habitat is also part of the Presqu’ile Bay Provincially Significant Wetland and the Presqu’ile Bay Important Bird Area.
Each year, tens of thousands of ducks and geese stop, rest and feed in the sheltered areas of Presqu’ile Bay, and in the spring and summer, the wetlands are important nesting areas for wetland birds, such as endangered king rail and threatened least bittern.
The area is a very popular place for local and visiting birders.
Mccrae was thrilled the plan was coming together.
“I’m delighted about this,” he said. “We now have, on the east side of Brighton, a huge property. Most of the north shore is now protected, and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Going forward, DUC and NCC will work together to study the natural features of the property, and then put plans in place to care for them. The partners will also develop a visitor management plan to ensure the safe and sustainable enjoyment of this beautiful landscape for years to come.
Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Kim Rudd was on hand for the announcement of the Brighton Wetlands Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
Mark Stabb, program director for NCC, right, had Erling Armson of Ducks Unlimited Canada laughing when presented with a turtle during the Brighton Wetlands announcement Wednesday (Oct. 10).