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.”
Enbridge’s vision is to be the leading energy delivery company in North America. We deliver the energy people need and want—to heat their homes, to keep their lights on, to keep them mobile and connected.
We operate across North America, fueling the economy and people’s quality of life. We move about 25% of the crude oil produced in North America, we transport nearly 20% of the natural gas consumed in the U.S., and we operate North America’s third-largest natural gas utility by consumer count. Enbridge was an early investor in renewable energy, and we have a growing offshore wind portfolio.
We work collaboratively every day to provide safe, reliable energy. Enbridge connects energy supply with growing markets in North America through our three core businesses:
Enbridge was named to the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Energy Leaders in 2018; we were selected to Bloomberg’s 2019 and 2020 Gender Equality Index; and we have been ranked among the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada for 18 years running, through 2020.
Enbridge Inc. is headquartered in Calgary, Canada. We have a workforce of about 13,000 people, primarily in Canada and the United States. Enbridge (ENB) is traded on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges.
More from Enbridge Inc.