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Protecting Our Ecosystem

PEI is home to many sensitive ecosystems which are at risk of destruction, predominantly due to human actions.


Coastal ecosystems are at high risk of erosion and hold delicate species which require constant monitoring to ensure their persistence. PEI's dunes, red sandstone cliffs and open beaches are all key features of PEI's ecosystems.


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Formed from an accumulation of sand eroded off of sand stone. wind and waves carry dry sand to areas on shore with rocks or seaweed where the sand accumulates over time. Marram grass acts as the glue which holds our dunes together.


Formed from sand, silt and mud eroded from an ancient mountain range and deposited into a wide valley about 285 million years ago. Over time this was compressed into layered sandstone. Hematite gives the sandstone its red colour which comes from oxidation of iron-rich materials in the bedrock. Due to their softness, they are easily eroded by wind and waves.



Zones between the ocean and dunes or cliffs. This open area is used as hunting space for shore birds, they host intertidal species which require water for some part of the day and salt tolerant terrestrial plants. 


Wetlands on PEI make up 5% of its surface and around 20% of those wetlands are salt water. Our wetlands provide important services such as ecosystems for aquatic species, flood protection, energy contribution to our streams and waterways and key spawning zones. Wetlands are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world.


Wetland Creation

Peat-based wetlands where most water comes from precipitation. They are acidic and dominated by sphagnum and ericaceous plants. The low pH and low oxygen levels lead to decaying plant matter buildup forming what is referred to as peat.


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Also called tidal marshes, you can find them in sheltered coastal areas. Low laying muddy and grassy areas that are often affected by periodic tidal flooding creating their salt water. If a salt marsh is fully isolated from the ocean by dunes then it becomes a barachois pond that loses its salinity over time.


Wetland Creation

Forested wetlands which are typically mineral based but some are organic. Swamps are fed by groundwater and precipitation, with varied nutrient levels and acidity, some are tidal. Dominated by a wide variety of shrubs and trees.

Acadian-Wabanaki Forest

The Acadian-Wabanaki forest region covers all of Atlantic Canada, parts of Quebec and the North-East United States. This region is characterized by being a transitional zone where Northern and Southern tree species meet.

Only about 1% of Acadian-Wabanaki forest old growth remains, while many areas are starting to regenerate over time, the trees filling in the spaces are far less diverse, being over-represented by white spruce. To create space for wildlife and restore the island's natural forests, many groups like ours plant a wide variety of indigenous tree and shrub species to hopefully one day bring back our original forests.

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