The Nature Conservancy of Canada wants to give Nova Scotians a gift for Canada’s 143rd birthday.

The NCC announced it has secured almost 300 acres of natural habitat along the province’s south shore, comprising an area known as Johnstons Pond.

The newly protected land adds to the 480 acres already under NCC protection in the Port Joli area.

According to the NCC, Johnstons Pond is an important coastal habitat; an undisturbed estuary divided from the Atlantic Ocean by a barrier beach. The area is a viable breeding ground for the Piping Plover, an endangered species, as well as several other varieties of coastal avian species.

“With almost 300 acres of land protected in the Johnstons Pond area, today’s announcement adds to the conservation puzzle along Nova Scotia’s south shore,” said Linda Stephenson, the NCC’s regional vice-president.

“Without the support of our partners, the acquisition of this important migratory bird habitat would have been nearly impossible.”

Since 1962, the NCC and its partners have protected more than two million acres across Canada, including 23,000 acres in Nova Scotia alone.

• Johnstons Pond is one of 10 gifts to Canadians from the NCC. Taken together, the secured land covers almost 13 square kilometres.

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