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Environmental groups making plans to achieve protection for County’s south shore

By Cheryl Anderson
County Live,
October 14 2017

Main Duck Island was briefly in the spotlight at a South Shore Conference Friday to explore ways to protect the south shore of Prince Edward County.

Dick Bird, from Hastings Prince Edward Land Trust, presented an antique “No Trespassing” sign originally from Main Duck Island, to Gary Bell from Nature Conservancy Canada, in recognition of that organization’s part in transferring the island’s ownership to Parks Canada.

The sign was given to Bird as a memento of the day he was asked to leave the island’s dock where he had sought shelter from a sudden storm, by a representative of the original owner.

The conference, a project of Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO) and Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN), was held to discuss ways to protect the South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and to enhance recognition of its biodiversity and the importance of its natural habitats.

The IBA stretches from Prince Edward Point to Point Petre, and from Lake Ontario to Army Reserve Road and Hilltop Road. It includes a large marine area that circles the south shore peninsula and extends from Black River to Soup Harbour. It has been designated as one of the most endangered IBAs in Canada because of the threats to its natural habitats from industrial wind turbine development.

Represented at the conference along with PEPtBO and PECFN were Ontario Nature, Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy Canada, Bird Studies Canada, Ontario Ministry of Nature Resources and Forestry, Hastings Prince Edward Land Trust, Company of Canadians Belleville group, Point to Point Foundation, County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy, Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County, Kingston Field Naturalists and Quinte Field Naturalists and local citizens and businesses.

“PEPtBO and PECFN have collected a vast amount of data about the flora and fauna that live in and migrate through the South Shore,” said Peter Fuller, PEPtBO president. “The biodiversity we have documented emphasizes the importance of this natural area and the reason it should be protected.”

Participants left with a plan to work together to press governments at every level into action to achieve protection for this undeveloped piece of land on the north shore of Lake Ontario.

The conference was funded with a grant from the Gosling Foundation, and facilitated by Stan Kozak, of that foundation.