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New protected natural environments on the Saint Lawrence River’s islands and shores

February 10, 2017

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) announced February 16, 2017, its acquisition and protection of three additional natural sites on the shores and islands of the Saint Lawrence River, totaling 20.6 hectares (51 acres). The properties are unique ecosystems that join other environments already conserved by NCC.

Located in the Lac-Saint-Pierre archipelago, the western point of île de Grâce is important for the preservation of the copper redhorse, a species that is endemic to Quebec and officially endangered. The property’s sandy shore is also a suitable nesting site for map turtles, a vulnerable species. The property is an important buffer zone between the aquatic environment and the grass prairie beyond, preventing natural and artificial erosion of the shore.

The Grondines swamp, which extends along seven kilometres (4.3 miles) of shoreline, is one of the river’s last large-area swamps. There are numerous colonies of Victorin’s water-hemlock and Parker’s pipewort, two plants found exclusively in the Saint Lawrence Estuary and designated as threatened.

Argentenay Point is located at Saint-François-de-l’Île-d’Orléans, at the easternmost point of the island. This property contains a unique forest. The river’s neighbouring grassy tidal flats provide an important stop for migratory waterfowl. Its plant life is abundant and varied and the tidal flats are home to Victorin’s Gentian.