Mike Dembeck

Newfoundland and Labrador

Number of projects: 2

Land value: Land value is the appraised value of land that NCC has conserved directly and with partners. $69,700

Acres conserved: 279

Stewardship volunteers: 38

Salmonier Nature Reserve in the Avalon Peninsula Natural Area now secured

Alain Belliveau

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) acquired key habitat that supports wild Atlantic salmon and unique forest lichens. NCC purchased 158 acres (64 hectares) along the Salmonier River on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The property is located near the community of Mount Carmel-Mitchells Brook-St. Catherine's. Key natural features include intact boreal forest and freshwater habitat.

The Salmonier River is a provincially designated salmon river, supporting the threatened south Newfoundland population of Atlantic salmon. It is one of the few remaining locations with untouched forest on the Avalon Peninsula, providing a buffer for both the Salmonier River and important woodland caribou grounds.

The site also hosts rare boreal and blue felt lichen. 

Funding partners included TD Bank Group, under the TD Forests Program, and Bishops College, whose students made a legacy donation as the school closes. 

The Nature Conservancy of Canada wishes to recognize the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program for its contribution to this important project in the Salmonier River area.

We confirmed the presence of a number of exceptional species on NCC’s Salmonier Nature Reserve, including olive-sided flycatcher, red crossbill and boreal felt lichen.

Creating homes for waterfowl in the Codroy Valley


NCC conducted a fun and interactive outreach and education program for students of Belanger Memorial School in the Codroy Valley.

In May 2016, NCC staff partnered with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) staff to offer a waterfowl and wetland education event to the students. NCC has connected with students in Newfoundland’s Codroy Valley since 2014, thanks to the keen interest of the teachers at Belanger Memorial and the continued support of the Codroy Valley Area Development Association. These relationships have allowed NCC to maintain a continued presence in the lives of local students, encouraging pride in and connection with their natural surroundings.

This year’s event focused on installing nest boxes. Some waterfowl, such as wood ducks and hooded mergansers, make their nests in tree cavities. These cavities are formed in a number of ways, including woodpecker excavation, disease and lightning strikes. Nest boxes provide additional options for nesting waterfowl.

NCC staff introduced the students to nest boxes and the species that use them, before setting out to install the boxes around the estuary.

Following the event, staff provided the teachers with maps to the three nest boxes. Come the end of nesting season, students will be able to visit these locations to see if the boxes were used, make sure they are in good condition and restock the wood shavings within. As the boxes were provided by DUC, they are also registered. This means that any data collected by the students can be submitted to DUC for tracking nest box success and use.

Beach cleanup at Sandy Point

Andrea Drake

In September 2015, NCC hosted its third annual beach cleanup on Sandy Point Island in St. George’s Bay, Newfoundland. NCC owns 83 acres (34 hectares) on this island steeped in immense local history. With the help of dedicated volunteers, more than 700 pounds of marine debris — enough to fill 25 garbage bags — were collected along five kilometres of shoreline.

Sandy Point is a 2,471-acre (1,000-hectare) island in St. George’s Bay, on the southwest coast of Newfoundland. The breathtaking landscape, with its sand dunes and salt marshes, is uncommon to Newfoundland and Labrador because much of the province’s coastline consists of rugged, rocky shoreline and sheer cliffs plunging into the ocean. The sandy beaches and dunes are important nesting habitats for numerous bird species at risk.

To date, NCC has conserved nine properties here for a total of almost 70 acres (28 hectares). Sandy Point is an important sanctuary for more than 100 species of shorebirds and waterfowl, including the endangered piping plover. It is home to semipalmated plovers, both Arctic and common terns and willets. It is also home to 11 rare plant species, including sea-beach sedge, black-grass rush, sea-lavender and saltwater cordgrass.