Thursday, August 09, 2012

West Buttertubs Marsh Acquired By City and DUC

The City of Nanaimo and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) are very pleased to announce the joint purchase of 63 acres (25 hectares) of wetlands west of Buttertubs Marsh and east of the Parkway commonly known as the “West Marsh”. The popular wetland area is home to several species of birds such as Great Blue Heron, Mallards and Ring-necked ducks. The management plan will ensure the sensitive ecosystems, as well as migratory birds and species at risk that live in the marsh, will be protected. Options for limited and passive public use will be explored.

City of Nanaimo Mayor, John Ruttan says, “It is wonderful to have worked jointly with Ducks Unlimited Canada in the purchase of this land and conserving and protecting ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations.”

“We are very excited about this project,” says DUC Manager of Provincial Operations for British Columbia, Brad Arner. “This land has been a high priority for conservation for some time as it is home to over 20 species of waterfowl, as well as some rare and endangered species such as western painted turtles. This new land will make a wonderful addition to the adjacent wetland and it is great to see the project moving forward thanks to our partnership with the City and gracious land donation.”

Diana Johnstone, Chair of Parks, Recreation & Culture Commission and City Councillor says, “The acquisition of the area is consistent with the Parks, Recreation & Culture Master Plan for parkland acquisition and is an integral part of Nanaimo’s natural landscape and vital wetland. We’re going to work closely with DUC and the public to ensure that that this new park stays as protected green space for all to learn from and enjoy.”

This parcel of land will become the first co-owned property agreement between the City of Nanaimo and DUC. However, the City and DUC have had a long history of working together in the co-management of Buttertubs Marsh with the Province of B.C., Nature Trust of B.C. and local groups.

The appraised value of the land is $1.1 million. The City of Nanaimo contributed $430,000 and DUC $400,000 towards the purchase. The remainder was secured via an ecological gift of $300,000 through the Federal Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. Environment Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program is a Federal government program which provides a way for Canadians with ecologically sensitive land to protect nature and leave a legacy for future generations. Made possible by the terms of the Income Tax Act of Canada and the Taxation Act in Quebec, it offers significant tax benefits to land owners who donate land or partial interest in land to qualified recipients. Recipients in turn ensure that the land’s biodiversity and environmental heritage are conserved in perpetuity.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at

For more information about this project please contact Richard Harding, Director of Parks, Recreation & Culture at 250-755-7516 or email


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