The province has legally protected the Eastern Shore Islands Wilderness Area and 22 other sites as wilderness areas or nature reserves.
“The province’s wilderness-area designation of all Eastern Shore Crown islands, with Nature Trust’s progress to date on the private islands, means we are protecting more than 5,000 acres,” said Peter Wright, president of Nova Scotia Nature Trust.
“The entire 100 wild islands archipelago is now a significant step closer to being protected, forever.”
Environment Minister Randy Delorey said that in addition to conserving nature, Nova Scotia’s parks and protected areas can have a big impact on local economies.
“This is very true of the Eastern Shore Islands,” said Mr. Delorey. “The site includes hundreds of Crown islands, from Clam Bay to Liscomb Point, and links to several provincial parks. Protecting these islands means they will continue to be available to support tourism and recreation, such as sea kayaking, sailing, hiking, camping and seabird watching.
“Together, we are protecting a globally significant island wilderness, at a scale that neither the province nor the Nature Trust could do on its own.”
The province has now legally protected 43 properties from the Parks and Protected Areas Plan. There are 23 properties in this round of designations, including:
— additions to Cloud Lake Wilderness Area, Annapolis County and Kings County
— expansion of Eigg Mountain-James River Wilderness Area, Antigonish County
— the Baleine Nature Reserve, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, on the eastern tip of Cape Breton Island
— the Sissiboo River Wilderness Area, Digby County
— the Fossil Coast Nature Reserve, Cumberland County, along the Bay of Fundy shoreline
These sites protect old forests, rare and endangered plants and animals, seabird populations and wildlife habitat, and help secure drinking-water supplies, canoes routes and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The lands were selected after consulting with municipalities, the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq, community groups, industry, non-government organizations and hundreds of individuals.
The province is also legally designating more land in two provincial parks, protecting them from use for other means. Cape Chignecto Provincial Park will have 4,250 acres of Crown land added, an increase of 40 per cent. Blomidon Provincial Park will have 1,415 acres of Crown land added, an increase of 70 per cent.
The plan and interactive maps are available at www.novascotia.ca/parksandprotectedareas/plan/progress .