Four properties added to unique estuary nature reserve in New Brunswick

Four properties that include forest, wetland and coastal wildlife habitat are being added to a unique nature reserve in New Brunswick.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada says it is expanding its Musquash Estuary reserve near Saint John by 397 hectares, making it the largest conservation area in the province.

The group says that with these donations it now has protected more than 2,100 hectares at Musquash, the only fully functioning river estuary remaining in the Bay of Fundy.

The conservancy says its extensive fresh and salt water wetlands provide an important source of food for many species, especially migratory birds, fish and marine mammals.

The protections come after community members fought to prevent the area from being developed into an industrial park and landfill.

It became New Brunswick's only federal Marine Protected Area in 2006 and includes mature mixed forest, fresh and salt water marshes, small lakes, bogs and coastal barrens.