Saving the Dunes

Sand Dune

The first phase of the major reclamation effort at the Pinhey Dunes restoration ends 2013. But there is an ongoing need to prevent future encroachments, and a need to continue to advocate for the preservation part of the dune system.

A not-for-profit organization, Stewards of Sand Dunes which was established in 2012 by Biodiversity Conservancy International, will work together with the National Capital Commission to maintain the Pinhey Sand Dunes.

A Board of Directors has been established and the group has more than 30 members.

SOS-Dunes Officially Launched

October 19, 2012 — A slight drizzle failed to dampen the enthusiasm as the “Stewards of Sand Dunes”  organization was officially launched at a special ceremony today. The ceremony took place at the Pinhey sand dunes, a unique inland sand dune complex located in south-west Ottawa. For the past two years, Biodiversity Conservancy, with the cooperation of the National Capital Commission, has been working to save the final remnant of a once vast dune habitat and the living organisms that make it their home.
The not-for-profit Stewards of Sand Dunes, or “SOS-Dunes” will now take on the task of permanent stewardship of this unique habitat. 
At the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Henri Goulet was named first president of the organization.

“Ecologically important”
Ontario Member of Parliament Lisa MacLeod said “What you’re doing here today is very significant in protecting something that is historically relevant to our nation and ecologically important to our country.  I know a lot of people did a lot of work to make this happen, I couldn’t be more proud of you for doing it.”

Biodiversity Conservancy President P.T. Dang said that, after the concentrated restoration effort of the past two years, “We can conclude now that part of the Pinhey sand dune habitat has been successfully stabilized, and it’s going to be here for a long, long time to come.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their financial support and to the National Capital Commission for their support and cooperation. And I’d like to thank all the volunteers who came here and worked on the project,” he said.

A 10,000 year-old treasure”
City of Ottawa Councillor Keith Egli said, “This place gives me the most unique bragging rights at city hall. There’s nothing like this anywhere else in the city. I consider the ant lions and the other unique bugs as being residents of Ward 9, and I look at them as ambassadors to the city — ambassadors to let everyone know that in Ward 9, we recognize the importance of biodiversity. We recognize that we have a 10,000 year-old treasure here, and we need to protect it.”

Eva Katic, Senior Land Management Officer at the National Capital Commission said, “The NCC is so pleased that today we are announcing the launch of SOS Dunes. We do have partners to continue our work, and it will be focused, and it will keep on moving it forward!”

Gwynn Norman of the Merivale Gardens Community Association said, “It takes a village to raise a child, and I believe that the group here are part of that village, and our kids are grateful for that.”

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Research Scientist Dr. Bruce Gill provided a demonstration of some of the unique life forms that live in the sand dune habitat and require its fine white sand for their survival. 

Launch ceremony: Video Highlights