Middle Island - August, 1999
Now a wildlife refuge (see story below picture) owned by the Canadian Nature Conservancy, Middle Island is 7 miles due east of Middle Bass, and is the southernmost point in Canada. The island is home to a wide variety of birds in large numbers, and the picture shows cormorants with a few herons also visible. For more recent pictures, go to Middle Island, 2002, Pictures 1-2 or Pictures 3-4. There is also a new picture from 2003 of a sign on the island.
Middle Island joins Point Pelee National Park of Canada
LEAMINGTON, ON, July 19, 2001 /CNW/ - The Honourable Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Mr. John Lounds, President of the Nature Conservancy of Canada celebrated today the addition of Middle Island, Canada's southernmost point, to Point Pelee National Park of Canada. Ownership of the island was transferred from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to the Government of Canada on September 6, 2000. Today's ceremony marked the culmination of collaborative efforts over the last two years to reacquire Canadian ownership and to ensure the protection of the Lake Erie island. "Today is a glorious day for Canada," said Minister Copps. "By adding Middle Island to Point Pelee National Park of Canada, we are not only expanding the boundaries of one of Canada's national parks but we are ensuring that Middle Island's fragile habitat and its significant heritage values will be protected in perpetuity." Although situated in Canadian waters, Middle Island was, for many years, under private American ownership. In July 1999, the NCC, with the support of Parks Canada and other contributors, purchased Middle Island at an auction in Cleveland, Ohio, for $1.3 million (CDN). Point Pelee National Park of Canada is part of the 39 national parks and national park reserves in Canada that make the country-wide system of representative natural areas of Canadian significance. "We are delighted that this national treasure will now be preserved for future generations of Canadians to enjoy, under the careful stewardship of Parks Canada," said Mr. Lounds. "Not only does this island have a very special place in the hearts of Canadians, but it is a prime example of a very significant ecosystem in need of protection from development. By preserving Middle Island we have saved a unique piece of Canada's natural heritage." "Today's ceremony is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when partners work together with a common goal," stated Ms. Susan Whelan, Member of Parliament for Essex. "We can take pride in the growth of our system of protected areas and in the cooperation that is shown in the acquisition of them." Mr. Jerry Pickard, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent Essex, was quoted as saying: "Middle Island is ecologically, symbolically and historically an important piece of property. It gives me tremendous pride knowing that Middle Island will forever be in Canadian hands." CP2001-000380 -30-
For further information: Catherine Gagnaire, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, (819) 997-7788; Marian Stranak, Superintendent, Point Pelee National Park of Canada, Parks Canada, (519) 322-2365 (ext. 212); Jane Lawton, Director, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Nature Conservancy of Canada, (416) 932-0050 (ext. 278). (Available on the Internet at: www.parkscanada.gc.ca under What's New)
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