The lakes and their surrounding landscapes also provide habitat for 20 percent of all fish species in North America and hundreds of millions of migrating birds. A collaboration of conservation partners, led by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, has launched a large-scale international effort to keep these pristine coastal habitats intact and in their natural state, for the benefit of wildlife, people and the economy.

Our Role

The Nature Conservancy of Canada identified the Lake Superior coast as one of the highest priority areas for conservation in the Great Lakes region. To help achieve their goal of protecting more than 12,500 acres of the most significant habitat along 70 miles of shoreline, The Conservation Fund provided a loan through its Great Lakes Revolving Loan Fund to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for the protection of Big Trout Bay, the last undeveloped privately-owned bay on Lake Superior’s western shore. 

Big Trout Bay boasts more than 2,500 acres of undisturbed habitat that supports several rare plant species such as inland bluegrass, western cliff fern and Missouri goldenrod. And its high-quality coastal cliff habitat and dense forests provide a home for wildlife species like the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. In fact, it has one of the highest concentrations of species and natural communities that occurs nowhere else in the Great Lakes region.

Mounting development pressure had put Trout Bay at risk, but the Fund’s ability to offer quick financing allowed the Nature Conservancy of Canada to swiftly purchase this ecologically important area before it was lost forever. Our Great Lakes Revolving Loan Fund was established in 2002 with a generous grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. This fund provides ready-capital to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for the conservation of natural resources in the Great Lakes region.

Why This Project Matters

An opportunity to protect such an ecologically significant landscape of this size is rare. People in the Great Lakes region, including First Nations, and far beyond depend on this vast ecological system for healthy soil, natural resources and services that support industry, jobs, international shipping and tourism, as well as a quality of life that is second to none.

Trout Bay Ontario
Photo credit: NCC


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