Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ENVIRONMENT:Bay of Fundy's Grindstone Island becomes Nature Preserve

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Grindstone Island now a nature preserve

Published Saturday October 30th, 2010

BY YVON GAUVIN
TIMES & TRANSCRIPT STAFF

A historic partnership between Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Parish of Sackville and the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton has ensured the preservation of Grindstone Island, the only island in the upper Bay of Fundy and a bird sanctuary, for generations to come.

The creation of the Grindstone Island Nature Preserve will be announced officially today at the Cape Enrage Nature Preserve during the annual meeting of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

The 50-acre island that once served as an important stone quarry for building projects as far away as Moncton and acts as site of an important lighthouse station is also recognized as ecologically unique. The island is recognized internationally as a component of the Shepody Bay Important Bird Area, the Shepody Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network and the Shepody Wetland of International Significance.

It serves a nesting area for the peregrine falcon population that has been restored to the Bay of Fundy and home to the largest great blue heron colony in the province of New Brunswick as well as a small colony of nesting eider ducks, breeding herring gull, great black backed gull and double-crested cormorant, said wildlife biologist Colin MacKinnon.

The partnership comes after years of negotiation and discussion to conclude with a conservation easement agreement with the Nature Trust that requires development of a management plan to monitor the fragile environment and set limits on activities on the island.

A portion of the island is already protected by Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service and the adjacent Shepody National Wildlife Area.The Parish of Sackville retains ownership of the island.

"From the beginning of our negotiations with the Nature Trust, the Parish of Sackville was motivated by the concept of stewardship. The Parish took the view that stewardship takes many forms and that we are called to be active in environmental preservation as well as the pastoral, social justice and spiritual work with which the Church is more frequently associated," said Reverend Canon Kevin Stockall.