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Purchase of Driftwood Cove Moves Canada Towards 2020 Conservation Goal

By Todd Westcott 11:38AM July 19, 2018

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Yesterday, the federal government purchased a substantial length of shoreline by way of the Driftwood Cove property in the Bruce Peninsula.

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, along with Beth Gilhespy, chief executive officer of the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC), announced that with support from the BTC, Parks Canada has reached an agreement to acquire the 1324 hectare Driftwood Cove property at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula.

“Bruce Peninsula National Park contains many endangered species, rugged cliffs overlooking Georgian Bay, and holds cultural significance to local Indigenous peoples,” said Minister McKenna.

The property features 6.5 kilometres of uninterrupted Georgian Bay shoreline, which represents 22 per cent of the park’s coast. Since the establishment of Bruce Peninsula National Park in 1987, Parks Canada has added over 140 parcels of land to the park on a willing seller–willing buyer basis. The Driftwood Cove property is one of the largest privately-held parcels of land in the Georgian Bay area, and will represent 9 per cent of the national park’s lands.

“Acquisition of Driftwood Cove by Parks Canada permanently preserves a crucial part of the Bruce Trail on the ecologically-significant Bruce Peninsula, and ensures that hundreds of thousands of Canadians each year can continue to experience this irreplaceable landscape,” said Gilhespy.

The property was publicly listed for $20.6 million, however, until the final closing of the property transaction the price cannot be made public. The acquisition will now bring Bruce Peninsula National Park to 90 per cent completion. Located along the coast of Georgian Bay, the park contains clear-water lakes, limestone coasts, and cliffside cedars, among other features.

Funds allocated in the 2018 federal budget to acquire protected lands were used to acquire the Driftwood Cove property. The Bruce Trail Conservancy also committed a significant financial contribution towards the purchase and played a critical role in acquiring the property as a portion of the famous Bruce Trail runs through the property.

This investment will also help the Government meet its international commitments for biodiversity, sustainable development, and climate change, including conserving at least 17 per cent of our land and freshwater by 2020. Currently 10.5 per cent of our land and freshwater are protected.

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