Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Montreal Port Authority are working together to designate a group of islands under their jurisdiction as national wildlife areas. The St. Lawrence islands project includes the potential creation of three national wildlife areas between Montreal and Lac Saint-Pierre: the Boucherville islands, the Varennes and Verchères islands, and the Lac Saint-Pierre islands. A total of 27 islands are included in the project. The area proposed for land protection equals nearly 775 hectares (1,915 acres), which would contribute to doubling the amount of protected nature in Canada’s lands and oceans. These islands are located in a geographical corridor frequented by numerous migratory birds and are among the region’s last natural islands. They provide important habitat for species at risk, including the least bittern, the short-eared owl and the yellow rail.
All three organizations will continue to collaborate in the months ahead to begin the process of creating the national wildlife areas, which includes consultations with Indigenous communities and local partners whose contributions will help to achieve this project’s conservation objectives.
In addition, through the Canada Nature Fund, the Government of Canada has invested $564,150 in a Nature-Action Québec project that protects 100 hectares (247 acres) of Montreal’s greenbelt. This recent investment has made it possible to purchase land, establish a new conservation area, and link this new area to other conservation areas. Protected areas under this project include mature forests, wetlands and marshlands. This project receives financial support from several partners, including the Government of Quebec.