Mike Dembeck

Nova Scotia

  • Number of Completed Projects (2014-2015)
  • 6
  • Acres Conserved
  • 406
  • Land Value
  • $801,085
  • Stewardship Volunteers
  • 129
Mike Dembeck

High-tech conservation

Using a small airplane as well as a drone, NCC stewardship staff gathered images high above the Pugwash River Estuary last August.

The imagery will help NCC take a closer look at the amount and condition of eel-grass in the estuary.

The project is designed to help track how eel-grass is surviving in the face of an increasing and significant threat: the European green crab. This introduced species has been eating its way up the Nova Scotia coast, feeding on clams, oysters, mussels and small fish and digging into the sandy or muddy bottom looking for prey.

European green crabs are also a significant threat to eel-grass beds. Eel-grass serves as a nursery for many important commercial marine species as well as for a number of species at risk. Without eel-grass lush estuaries become underwater deserts.

The aerial images will help create a good baseline of the current status of the eel-grass meadows in the Pugwash Estuary. These results will help inform management decisions in the area and provide a reference for research questions in the future.

Mike Dembeck

Staying connected

NCC co-hosted a workshop at Mount Allison University in Sackville, with participants from more than 20 different conservation organizations, stakeholder groups and government agencies from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the United States.

Called “Staying Connected,” panelists at the workshop discussed conservation initiatives on the Chignecto Isthmus — the narrow band of land that connects Nova Scotia with the rest of North America.

The Chignecto Isthmus is a key focal area for NCC. To date we have acquired more than 2,600 acres (1,050 hectares) of forests and wetlands in the Isthmus. This land is an important wildlife corridor and provides habitat for a number of species, such as provincially endangered Canada lynx and mainland moose, bobcat, bear, deer, waterfowl and more.

Without deliberate planning and action to conserve ecosystem connectivity, development and land use on the Chignecto Isthmus could restrict the natural movement of plants and wildlife across this important land bridge.

Participants included the departments of Fish and Wildlife and Transportation in Vermont, who shared their experiences in conserving and managing interactions between nature and people in important ecological corridors in the United States.

Anthony Crawford

Rare shrub given a foothold

On a small property in Lobster Bay on the southern tip of Nova Scotia is a salt marsh that hosts a shrub whose entire Canadian distribution is limited to the Lobster Bay region.

The next nearest population of the shrub, known as eastern baccharis or groundsel-tree, is more than 450 kilometres away in Massachusetts.

This year NCC purchased the Lobster Bay property, where, in addition to the rare shrub, waterfowl thrive and the forest is filled with black and white spruce and balsam fir.