Published on Mon, 04/04/2016 by Nature Conservancy of Canada

Cross-Border Partnership Benefits Conservation

There has been a lot of interest and coverage in recent days about close relations between Canada and the United States and meetings between our respective political leaders to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Among these many common issues, one area where there has been friendship and considerable goodwill for more than 30 years is the shared pursuit of conservation. It is a huge success story that has involved vision and partnership.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is proud to be among like-minded organizations in Canada and the U.S. such as Ducks Unlimited Canada, working together under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan; an international agreement that supports the long-term protection of wetland and upland habitats needed by waterfowl and other migratory birds.

The plan is supported in large part by funding from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). The NAWCA grants program has resulted in $33.7 million dollars in funding from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, which has been directly invested into Nature Conservancy of Canada projects across Canada since 2001. 

For every U.S. dollar received through annual NAWCA grants, the Nature Conservancy of Canada matches it with financial contributions from individuals, businesses, corporations, family and community foundations, along with government agencies. To date, more than $161 million has been leveraged in matching funds.


More importantly it means 350,000 acres (141,640 hectares) of crucial habitat, including wetlands and associated upland habitat for waterfowl, have been protected from coast to coast, with valuable sites supported in every province.

 Here are some examples of what has been accomplished by the Nature Conservancy of Canada across the country thanks to funding from NAWCA:

  • The Missouri Coteau Natural Area in Saskatchewan: 125 conservation projects, protecting over 120,000 acres (48,562 hectares).
  • NCC’s Manitoba Region has secured more than 23,000 acres (9,300 hectares) of upland habitat and over 10,000 acres (4,047 hectares) of wetland habitat for migratory waterfowl;
  • 23,354 acres (9,451 hectares) in Ontario, including the Frontenac Arch, which includes prime habitat for mallards and wood ducks;
  • The Musquash Estuary, located on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. The only federal marine protected area designated in New Brunswick and among the 15,590 acres (6,309 hectares) conserved in the province;

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s largest private land conservation organization. Since 1962, we have helped to protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) from coast to coast.

However when you look at the size of this country that still only adds up to 1/11th of one percent of Canada; so there is a lot left to do.

The impact is far greater than area alone suggests. NCC is making a very significant contribution to continental conservation, by directly addressing the most significant threats to Canada’s spaces and species, setting clear priorities for conservation and targeting our actions on the areas most in need of conservation.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is pleased to help Canadians of all ages connect with our outdoors. NCC’s sites allow opportunities to walk, hike, bird, canoe, kayak, explore, learn and rejuvenate. To learn more, visit