Enbridge investment drives $800,000 donation to Nature Conservancy of Canada for preservation of Beaver Hills, the ‘spine’ of Alberta’s biosphere
Submitted by Enbridge Inc.
Tourists and Alberta residents aren’t the only ones flocking to the Beaver Hills biosphere area for recreational purposes.
More than 150 species of waterfowl stop over every year in the boreal wetlands region east of Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton—and given those numbers, Beaver Hills has rightly earned the honor of being Canada’s first established bird sanctuary, as well as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation.
In 2017, the Nature Conservancy of Canada launched a Keep the Beaver Hills Wild campaign, focusing conservation efforts on the most at-risk parts of the 1,572-square-kilometer expanse. Some of the area is already protected as provincial and national parks; other sections are privately owned.
Right down the center lies a vital strip of wilderness. Andi Romito, Edmonton-based senior development officer with the NCC, calls it the “spine of the biosphere,” explaining it provides a natural corridor to wildlife searching for food, habitat and breeding areas. It’s a key area of focus for the NCC’s campaign.
Thanks to a recent $200,000 Fueling Futures donation from Enbridge, the NCC is in the process of negotiating for the protection of two pieces of land along that spine, including a 160-acre, privately owned property.
The world is currently celebrating Earth Week, and the 2022 theme for Earth Day is “invest in our planet.” At Enbridge, sustainability is central to everything we do. We’re supporting society’s transition to a lower-carbon future by pioneering new energy sources while continuing to provide access to affordable, reliable and increasingly sustainable low-emissions energy.
Enbridge’s Fueling Futures program supports sustainability projects that help improve, grow and nurture our environment. By providing this $200,000 grant to the NCC’s American partner, the NCC has been able to leverage a three-to-one match from organizations such as the North American Waterfowl Conservation Association.
That’s turned a $200,000 donation into an $800,000 investment in the future of Alberta’s biosphere—and represents the largest donation on the Beaver Hills project to date.
With that funding in place, negotiations to place an easement on the land are expected to move forward quickly, Romito explains.
It’s another example of collaboration, which has been a hallmark of the Beaver Hills conservation project. “The NCC is holding hands with groups of other people,” Romito says. “It’s not just the conservation organizations, it’s not just the government entities, working to conserve the area. It’s an entire community.”
Under the terms of an easement, landowners continue to work their land, but agree to do so sustainably. “This is the future of conservation,” Romito adds. “People need to keep living on the land, and we can move ahead with stewardship work and land restoration work.”
The NCC’s efforts have already led to results in Beaver Hills—wildlife is returning to the area, and at-risk populations are growing.
“The flyways will be safe, and the wetlands will be intact for the animals. And the people who live there stay on their acreages and live their best life,” Romito says.
“I heartily think that what we’re doing in Beaver Hills is what we need to be doing globally to make sure we’ll get the best future we can.”
At Enbridge, our name spells out our mission: a bridge to a sustainable energy future. That bridge safely connects millions of people around the world to the energy they rely on every day, fueling quality of life. Whether it’s natural gas, oil or renewable power, the energy we deliver through networks spanning North America and our growing European offshore wind portfolio helps to heat homes, feed families, fuel vehicles and power industry. We’re investing in modern energy infrastructure to sustain access to secure, affordable energy. We’re also building on two decades of experience in renewable energy to advance new low-carbon energy technologies including hydrogen, renewable natural gas and carbon capture and storage. We’re committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the energy we deliver, and to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Enbridge’s common shares trade under the symbol ENB on the Toronto (TSX) and New York (NYSE) stock exchanges. To learn more, visit us at Enbridge.com
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