ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWTI) — A conservation project on a local island is nearly complete.

The Thousand Islands Land Trust has provided an update regarding its island-wide conservation initiative on Number Nine Island. This island is located in Goose Bay, New York, on the St. Lawrence River.

Number Nine Island encompasses approximately 160 acres of hard ground. TILT stated that “every square foot of [the island] has something extraordinary to offer.” This includes fish and wildlife habitats and a unique history.

However, the Land Trust said that one of its more important features is its function as a “protector of clean water. The combined natural vegetation and marshes lining Number Nine island act as a filter, cleaning runoff of potential excess nutrients and pollutants. TILT stated that maintaining clean water around the island helps to protect the natural resource in Goose Bay and the St. Lawrence River, as well as safeguard the region’s tourism-based economy.

Back in 2019, Thousand Islands Land Trust secured a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Water Quality Improvement Project grant for land acquisition on Number Nine.

Since the grant was awarded, TILT has acquired five neighboring parcels of land totaling 107 acres. The Land Trust also has contracts to protect an additional 55 acres around the island, including roughly 45 acres of march that separates Number Nine from the mainland.

TILT confirmed that once these contracts are complete, it will have acquired these lands from five different landowners. Along with volunteers, the Land Trust has created a wildlife preserve on the island.

Moving forward, TILT now is responsible for ensuring the health of ecosystems on Number Nine Island. There are also agreements in place with landowners to continue conservation efforts on their properties. Public access to the new preserve will be organized through TILT’s educational programming.