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Where Eagles Soar

Photo by Melanie Leeson Photography

CONGRATULATIONS - YOU DID IT!
We've Soared Across the Finish Line into the
French Creek Eagle Sanctuary!

All Funds Have Been Raised

You have crossed the finish line and made this incredible project a reality. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful story. We will keep you updated as the BC Parks Foundation completes the sale, works with the Regional District of Nanaimo and local conservation groups to begin restoration activities.

Please note that until all matters are finalized, the area is private land and remains closed to the public

"This is truly a remarkable moment for the community and for British Columbia as a whole as your generosity has created a sanctuary for thousands of eagles, hopefully one of many sanctuaries along their migratory path. Providing this protected habitat is one key step in the work towards ensuring they thrive well into the future."

BC Parks Foundation

 


 

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THANK YOU!
For being at the heart of this conservation dream
And for your incredible generosity, support and spirit that achieved this success for Nature.


 








 

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The Eagle Sanctuary

Close your eyes and picture the magnificence of the bald eagle - its sleek and shiny feathers, sharp, penetrating gaze, jaw-dropping talons and impressive 2 metre wing span. They are truly a sight to behold. Their survival relies heavily on having suitable habitat with mature trees for nesting up high and access to a diverse array of food sources. As development continues and the abundance of mature and towering trees drops, there are fewer and fewer places like this where eagles can live, gather, and feed.

Now you can make a difference for this species and this special gathering place. Join the BC Parks Foundation, Nanaimo Regional District, Save Estuary Land Society, Friends of French Creek Conservation Society and Qualicum and Snaw-Naw-As First Nation to create a Nature Reserve for the Bald Eagles and other life in the Estuary. 

To realize this goal, BC Parks Foundation has secured an exclusive agreement to purchase 18 acres of land in the heart of French Creek Estuary, a purchase that would see a total of 23 acres of this productive and ecologically valuable land protected.

The independently appraised value of the land is $5,180,000. But the incredible generosity of the partners has reduced that significantly.

 

The Save Estuary Land and Friends of French Creek Conservation Society partnership has raised $200,000 in community donations.

 

French Creek House, Ltd., the owners, have generously agreed to donate $3,280,000 as part of their commitment to seeing this sanctuary become a reality.

Dax Dasilva and his non-profit Age of Union Alliance have agreed to provide a landmark gift of $1,000,000 in matching funds if the remainder can be raised. The Regional District of Nanaimo has committed $400,000 towards the purchase of estuary lands.

That leaves only $300,000 to go!

You can help the eagles fly across the finish line into Vancouver Island's first eagle sanctuary.

The deadline is April 10th to secure the funds. Please consider donating today by clicking this button!

Where is French Creek Estuary?

Sitting between Qualicum Beach and Parksville along the east coast of Vancouver Island, there is more biodiversity along this stretch of coastline than anywhere else in BC. Nestled in this area is French Creek Estuary, a haven for eagles and it's not hard to see why.

It features mature and towering trees ideal for nesting and perching. Eagles rely on the height of such trees to keep them far above human interference and as an excellent vantage point for watching for prey.

The estuary is also exceedingly productive, bringing with it rich and diverse food sources. No wonder then that French Creek Estuary features six bald eagle nests within a 2km radius of the estuary itself, acting as a central hub for eagle activity.

Photo by Melanie Leeson Photography

Estuaries...Powerhouse Habitats

Photo by Save Estuary Land Society

Estuaries are rare, making up only 2.3% of BC's coastline. But they are highly productive and diverse, supporting thousands of species of wildlife that use it for food, shelter and to raise young.

Acting as a protective buffer, estuaries play a key role in climate change, absorbing flood waters and dissipating storm surges.

The French Creek Estuary feeds the spectacular Salish Sea. Each year, in the area in front of the estuary, high winds and surging waves dislodge thousands of Gaper clams, tossing them on shore as a feast for hundreds of Bald eages and other wildlife. Eagles also gather here to feed on herring and hake.

Towering Trees

Featuring mature growth, the area is home to iconic western red cedars, some over 150 years old. These are vital for eagles, who need mature older trees buffered from human activity. It is part of a globally endangered coastal douglas fir forest ecosystem and ranked critically imperiled as part of the douglas-fir/dull oregon-grape ecosystem according to the BC Conservation Data Centre.

Photo by Save Estuary Land Society

The Need for Protection is Urgent

Unfortunately, the area has been declared an eco-crisis region and is one of nine most at-risk areas in southern Canada due to development, forestry and other pressures.

Photo by Melanie Leeson Photography

At stake:

  • 3 rare and fragile ecosystems

  • 19 species at risk

  • 150 year old coastal douglas fir and western red cedars

  • 2 salmon and trout bearing creeks

  • Vital wetlands and riparian areas

  • A critical gathering place and habitat for eagles

Among the species at risk are peregrine falcons, great blue herons, marbled murrelets, northern red-legged frogs, western toads and townsend big-eared bats. Other wildlife also rely on the area, such as beavers, otters, owls, deer, bears, cougars and other migratory birds.

With such incredible ecological value, BC Parks Foundation is committed to working with the supporters and partners to preserve a key part of BC's natural heritage. Local First Nations would also like to see the area protected as an eagle reserve and there is support in principle from local government. If successful, the Regional District of Nanaimo has committed to working with the BC Parks Foundation to manage this important ecological area as a nature preserve in perpetuity.

Be a part of saving French Creek Estuary by donating today.

Parks contain the magic of life. Pass it on. #ParksForever

Deadline: April 10th, 2022

Questions about this campaign?

Phone - 604 343 3975 ext. 1

Email - gifts@bcparksfoundation.ca

Once the purchase of the land is complete the BC Parks Foundation will issue tax receipts for all donations of $20 and over. Any excess funds raised will be used to create a Stewardship Fund for long term maintenance of this property or to the next Parks Bank initiative.

Photo by Wayne Duke