Les efforts  pour la protection des sites naturels sont
présentement axés sur la conservation
des côtes du comté de Charlotte

La Fondation pour la protection des sites naturels fait briller son
projecteur sur les propriétés écologiquement riches entre St. Stephen et à l'est jusqu'à Lepreau. Le projet de la côte du comté de Charlotte est le plus récent d'une série d'efforts de conservation à l'échelle du paysage. Ce projet incorpore les objectifs primaires de la Fondation: protéger les terres
en créant des réserves naturelles et encourager une intendance privée
écologiquement responsable.

La Fondation est heureuse de travailler avec les propriétaires afin de s'assurer que les côtes du comté de Charlotte demeurent aussi intactes que possible. Certains des propriétaires fonciers ont déjà exprimé leur
intérêt de protéger leurs terres grâce à une servitude de conservation ou bien en donnant la propriété à la Fondation comme réserve naturelle. Chaque lopin de terre donné va
contribuer à la sauvegarde
des aires naturelles du Nouveau-














































Contact Information:

Heather Arnold
of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 603 Station A Fredericton NB E3B 5A6

Tel: (506) 
457 2398 
Fax: (506)
 450 2137 
Heather Arnold 
Margo Sheppard

Conservation Efforts on the
Charlotte County Coastline

Heather Arnold
Nature Trust of New Brunswick

April, 2001

or over a year, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick has shone its spotlight on ecologically rich properties from St. Stephen east to Lepreau. The Charlotte County Coastline project is the latest in a series of landscape-level conservation efforts. Like the Nature Trust’s previous Appalachian Hardwood Forest study, this coastal project has identified properties worthy of protection and engaged landowners in discussions about the protection of these unique areas.

(photo: Heather Arnold)

This Letang Harbour island will form part of a
protected archipelago of islands to be used as an
outdoor education and research facility

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is a charitable land trust, founded in 1987. Its goals are to establish and maintain nature preserves for the benefit of present and future generations of New Brunswickers, and to educate people on the ecological, and social values of conservation. The Trust currently owns and/or manages fifteen nature preserves and two conservation easements around the province. These sites are considered to be of high ecological significance, or to possess unique aesthetic, archaeological, or geological features which make the land intrinsically valuable.

The Charlotte County Coastline project embodies the Trust’s primary objectives: to protect land by creating nature preserves and to encourage ecologically responsible private stewardship. The study area—the Passamaquoddy Bay east to Lepreau—contains an impressive diversity of habitats, plant and animal species, as well as scenic grandeur. It is also subject to numerous development pressures that threaten the integrity of many sensitive and unique habitats. In 2000, the Nature Trust launched a systematic study of these areas with the objectives of establishing ‘conservation priority areas’ and communicating to landowners the ecological value and fragility of their properties.

Two students began working on the project last summer. They consulted local experts, maps, and ecological literature, and explored regions of interest to identify areas of the coastline with high ecological significance. Their studies revealed numerous spectacular properties enclosing salt marshes, undeveloped coastline, rich waterfowl and shorebird habitat, and populations of rare or uncommon plant species.

In the fall, with fieldwork complete, the Nature Trust proceeded to contact 160 individuals owning land within the conservation priority areas established through the summer’s study. Project staff described the findings of the study and outlined the array of conservation planning options available to private landowners in New Brunswick.

Feedback from landowners, some of whom are American, has been very encouraging. "When they’re approached by the Trust on a study like this," said Executive Director Margo Sheppard, "people are grateful we’ve contacted them and feel really good about what we’re trying to do. The key is to appeal to their [the landowners’] long term view, for example, of how they want the coast to look in say 50 years time—fully built-out, or still natural."

(photo: Margo Sheppard)

The Caughey-Taylor Preserve near Bocabec encloses
this brackish pond and safeguards habitat for a rare moss and
several rare to uncommon herbaceous plants.

Most of the landowners were supportive of the Nature Trust’s conservation efforts, and echoed the organization’s convictions about the importance of safeguarding natural areas. Some have expressed interest in protecting their land through a conservation easement, or even donating the property to the Nature Trust as a nature preserve.

Since the beginning of the study, two coastal properties have come under Nature Trust protection through private donations: an extension to the Caughey-Taylor Preserve at Sam Orr’s Pond, and New River Island in Maces Bay. The Caughey-Taylor Preserve grew by 25 acres, increasing the total protected area to approximately 300 acres. This expansive Bocabec preserve encloses a 30-acre brackish marsh, mudflats, upland forests, rare and uncommon plant species and one of the few populations of the shellfish, Quahaug, in the Bay of Fundy. New River Island is known as one of the Bay of Fundy’s most important Common Eider duck nesting sites. The Trust has developed management plans for both of these coastal preserves that guide any monitoring, research or recreational activities.

This summer, the Nature Trust will meet with Charlotte County property owners to visit their land and to discuss the conservation of ecologically significant features. As one landowner said, "your stewardship information has planted a seed in my mind." The Nature Trust looks forward to nurturing those seeds of ecological stewardship and helping to ensure that the Charlotte County Coastline remains as intact as possible.

(photo: Margo Sheppard)

New River Island as seen from New River Beach was
donated in 2000 to the Nature Trust of New Brunswick
and protects regionally important eider duck habitat

One landowner’s conservation ethic has been growing for decades. By proposing the donation of a large area of land in Letang Harbour, he has also catalyzed the development of an entirely new conservation project. This effort would see a series of small islands conserved by the Nature Trust, while also used for outdoor education and ecological research. The Trust, along with a group of supporting parties, is currently exploring options for the islands. They are confident that this will be one of many future success stories the Trust authors in this magical part of New Brunswick.

Heather Arnold is the Field Project Coordinator
for the Nature Trust and welcomes all interest
in the Charlotte County Coastline project and
other Nature Trust conservation efforts.