December 28, 2021
EBC secured Michael’s Bay East Nature Reserve earlier this month. It is on Manitoulin Island in the traditional lands of the Odawa and Anishinabewaki.
This natural sanctuary starts a new chapter, where EBC will seek to engage with Indigenous communities, and proceed in a spirit of reconciliation with respect to the site’s name, its uses, and the interests registered on title. EBC is committed to respecting people affected by its activities, and hopes that by robust consultation with Indigenous communities, we can develop a new framework for future protected areas as well.
Michael’s Bay East is near the south shore of Manitoulin Island and has 300 acres of mixed wood forest. It abuts Blue Jay Creek Provincial Park, protects the forest on the east side of the Manitou River and reduces habitat loss and fragmentation. The Manitou River is an important river on Manitoulin. It flows through EBC’s Michael's Bay preserves, the Michael's Bay Historical Society lands and then into Lake Huron. The site also has the unique Michael's Bay Ridges of ancient shorelines and swales. The natural geological and topographical features, and large forest cover provide diverse habitat for species-at-risk known to use or likely to use this protected area. Michael’s Bay East also falls within a Wildlife Values Area for overwintering white-tailed deer and the Manitoulin Island Archipelago Natural Area Conservation Plan which is a stepping stone of conserved land for migratory birds making their way to nearby bird areas on Manitoulin.