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Nature Conservancy of Canada buys wetland along Lake Winnipeg


September 4, 2019
By Ground Water Canada

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Gimli, Man. – A wetland property along the west shore of Lake Winnipeg in the Rural Municipality of Gimli is the latest to be purchased by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

The not-for-profit land conservation group has bought the property, which is dominated by important coastal marsh habitat, in the Rural Municipality of Gimli.

Featuring 21 hectares (52 acres) of marsh and forest habitats, and a creek, the Husavik Coastal Wetlands property supports a network of cattail, willow and sedge wetlands and woodlands, and populations of shorebirds, songbirds, and nesting and migrating waterfowl, the Conservancy said in a news release.

“Wetlands play an important role in the health of our country and our communities. They play a critical role in absorbing and storing carbon,” according to the release. “They also remove sediments, excess nutrients and even bacteria from our surface and ground water. Like a giant paper towel, they absorb and hold water to buffer our cities and farms from floods and droughts – both of which are growing more common and extreme in recent years.”

In addition to the wetlands, a raised bar of sandy soil, known as beach ridge runs through the property and supports approximately one and a half hectares (four acres) of deciduous forest species, including Manitoba maple, green ash, bur oak and eastern cottonwood.

The area is also well known for bald eagles congregating in the fall and provides habitat for species at risk, including short-eared owl and northern leopard frog, both nationally listed as special concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

Securing this shoreline property will help conserve coastal wetlands, which are considered to be under high threat in the Interlake region. None of the shoreline and beach ridge communities along this portion of the lake are officially protected.

Conserving this shoreline property will also ensure that some of the last intact coastal marshes, shorelines and beach ridges in the region are not lost while also conserving associated stream and floodplain areas.

This conservation project was supported by funding from the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, the Province of Manitoba and the Richardson Foundation.