The newly protected coastal land includes a 170 acre Black Point Beach property
Hemeon’s head gets conservation designation
By Amy Woolvett
There is now 320 acres of coastal wilderness protected in Shelburne County thanks to a conservation partnership between Nova Scotia Nature Trust and Acadia University.
Hemeon’s Head is an ecologically rich area with a vast coastal ecological system as a habitat and known as an internationally significant bird sanctuary including migratory birds and the endangered piping plover.
Many were out this past weekend to celebrate the newly protected coastal land that includes the 170 acre Black Point Beach property and the adjacent 150 acre Mathews Lake property ensuring protection of the beach and wetland areas.
Chris Curry, with Bird Studies Canada was especially pleased with the designation.
“Bird Studies Canada and our volunteers have monitored birds and protected piping plovers at Hemeon’s Head since 2009,” she said. “We are thrilled about the long-term protection of this special place and the successful partnerships that mad this happen.”
The protection will help to provide critical habitat for several rare and endangered species including harlequin ducks, red knots as well as the piping plovers.
This is the second largest conservation partnership between Acadia University and the Nature Trust.
“Acadia University is an environmental pioneer among academic institutions in Canada,” said Bonnie Sutherland, the Nature Trust’s executive director. “By permanently protecting its own ecologically important lands through conservation easements, Acadia is raising the bar on land stewardship for other academic institutions across the county.”
Tom Herman, vice president academic of Acadia University was also pleased with the partnership.
“Partnering with the Nature Trust makes it possible for Acadia, as owners of important natural areas, to make a tangible and lasting contribution to biodiversity conservation in Nova Scotia,” he said. “The conservation easement protects these lands, their conservation values and their irreplaceable research and educational values, in perpetuity, something landowners cannot do on their own.”
More of 85 percent of the coast is currently in private ownership.
Hemeon’s Head is the Nature Trust’s 59th conservation site, including 28 coastal lands with a number of coastal conservation projects in the works.
“Together with visionary landowners like Acadia and enthusiastic local communities and conservation partners, we are already making exciting headway in coastal conservation,” said Sutherland. “More and more Nova Scotians recognize that private land conservation is critical if we want to protect our unique coastal legacy. With their support, we can achieve even more.”