Mike Dembeck

New Brunswick

  • Number of Completed Projects (2014-2015)
  • 11
  • Acres Conserved
  • 216
  • Land Value
  • $469,600
  • Stewardship Volunteers
  • 53
Mike Dembeck

A mosaic of habitat protected across Miscou Island

Miscou Island, located on the northeastern tip of New Brunswick, is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, saltwater lagoons and massive peat bogs that turn a spectacular crimson red each fall.

In November 2014 we celebrated the conservation of an additional 450 acres (182 hectares) of ecologically significant lands on the island – a multi-part land assembly involving 18 separate properties and many local families.

NCC’s conservation efforts aim to protect the special natural features of Miscou Island. With more than 700 acres (280 hectares) now protected by NCC, these nature reserves protect forest, peat bog, coastal salt marshes and lagoons critical to thousands of waterfowl and migratory shorebirds. These sites also include sandy beaches used by nesting piping plovers, a nationally endangered shorebird, as well as threatened species such as Gulf of St. Lawrence aster, red knot sandpiper and Canada warbler.

These properties were protected in part thanks to generous land donations by the families that had cared for them over many decades, including the Windsor-Harper family of Miscou Harbour.

“By donating this family legacy to the care of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, these lands have been returned to the wind, the sun and the sea,” said Gwen McConkey on behalf of the Windsor-Harper family.

“The natural bounty, which yielded to the determination and hard work of several generations of farmers, fishermen and entrepreneurs that called these rough shores of Chaleur Bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence home, will once again thrive for future generations to appreciate and experience.”

Mike Dembeck

Happy Bird Day to us!

In August NCC celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Johnson’s Mills Shorebird Reserve and Interpretive Centre, located in the Upper Bay of Fundy.

The anniversary coincided with the annual peak number of migratory shorebirds, which this year saw a high of 210,000 birds in a single flock.

A main source of food for shorebirds in the Upper Bay of Fundy is mud shrimp, a small amphipod (about the size of a grain of rice) that lives in a u-shaped burrow in the mud. In North America mud shrimp only occur in the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine, where the consistency of the mud is just right.

NCC actively promotes conservation, education and stewardship at Johnson’s Mills, and operates an interpretive centre in July and August so visitors can respectfully enjoy the magnificent conservation area.


From acorn to oak

With the help of our enthusiastic volunteers, NCC launched a multi-year forest restoration project along the Northumberland Strait coast.

Two dozen Conservation Volunteers spent a beautiful weekend in the forest at Grand Barachois, collecting and planting hundreds of red oak acorns over two acres (0.8 hectares) of forest on NCC’s lands.

“The best way to know if an acorn is good to plant is by doing a float test,” said Siobhan Darlington, NCC’s Conservation Volunteers coordinator in New Brunswick. “If the acorns sink, they are good to plant. If they float, the nut is bad, likely due to insects or that the acorn has not matured.”

The Grand Barachois red oak forest consists of 85 percent red oak and 15 percent red maple.

Mike Dembeck

Heartfelt support from former New Brunswick premier

NCC’s most ambitious conservation project to date in New Brunswick is also the largest private land conservation project in the province's history. The campaign received a major boost when former Canadian Ambassador to the United States and former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna donated $100,000 in honour of his friend Robert (Bob) Kenny, a long-time salmon conservation advocate.

NCC is working to acquire five properties along the Bartholomew River that will protect 2,100 acres (850 hectares) of key forest and salmon habitat. With more than 5.3 kilometres of river frontage, this project will support important fish nursery areas within the Miramichi watershed. Upland areas also boast Acadian forest habitat that is crucial for conservation.

In a touching ceremony with Mr. McKenna and the Kenny family, NCC announced one of the salmon pools would be named in recognition of Bob Kenny, who suffered from ALS. Mr. Kenny passed away two weeks after the ceremony.