October 22nd (Halifax)—The Nova Scotia Nature Trust announced exciting support and endorsement for our landmark coastal island conservation initiative, the 100 Wild Islands Legacy Campaign in Halifax tonight. Our efforts to protect one of North America’s last wild and ecologically rich coastal archipelagos received a major investment and the accolades of one of the planet’s most iconic environmental business leaders and philanthropists, Yvon Chouinard.
A renowned climber, surfer, angler and entrepreneur, Yvon Chouinard is also a leader and innovator in corporate environmental sustainability and philanthropy. He is probably best known for founding the environmentally-focused gear and clothing company Patagonia, and starting the 1% for the Planet program.
Mr. Chouinard was introduced to the islands by Nova Scotian businessman Jim Lawley, himself a passionate salmon conservationist and volunteer with the Nature Trust. He encouraged Mr. Chouinard to visit the islands on his way home from their recent fishing trip. The islands clearly impressed.
“I’ve been involved in conservation all across the planet, especially Patagonia, and these 100 wild islands are truly unique, like no place I’ve ever been,” Mr. Chouinard said. “We’ve gotten so used to seeing places that we call wild, but they are not really wild. But this archipelago is amazing. That it could be so pristine, so close to a city, untouched--it just makes so much sense to protect it.”
The 100 Wild Islands coastal wilderness, just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is truly one of Canada’s least-known, yet greatest, natural treasures. A vast archipelago of beautiful, unspoiled coastal islands, it is home to pristine beaches and idyllic clear blue lagoons, dramatic headlands and cliffs—a paradise for wilderness paddlers and sailors. The archipelago is also ecologically rich and diverse, home to rainforests, bogs, coastal barrens, and wetlands, all largely undisturbed by humans since the last ice age. The archipelago includes 282 islands, encompassing over 7,000 acres of land and stretching over 30 kilometers along the coast.
The 100 Wild Islands Legacy Campaign is the largest coastal conservation endeavor ever undertaken in Nova Scotia and one of the most significant coastal islands initiatives in Canadian history. The Nature Trust has already made significant progress in bringing over 70% of the islands into conservation.
The personal gift of $50,000 from Yvon and Malinda Chouinard, along with a generous $250,000 anonymous gift also announced tonight by the Nature Trust, brings the campaign just $350,000 from its $7 million goal.
“The 100 Wild Islands are clearly resonating with Nova Scotians, and well beyond,” noted the Nature Trust’s Executive Director Bonnie Sutherland of the campaign’s phenomenal success. “But having Yvon Chouinard’s support is extraordinary. He is an icon and an inspiration in our world, so seeing him out there captivated by the islands, speaking to their significance and choosing to personally support our conservation effort, it is incredibly exciting and affirming.”
We hope his support will inspire others to step up and be a part of the 100 Wild Islands legacy. The initiative has already garnered other major support from individuals and organizations across the country and beyond including Paul Gauthier, Martha McCain, the John and Barbara Poole Family Funds at Edmonton Community Foundation, TD Bank Group, Jim Lawley, David Wilson and Family, O’Regan’s Automotive Group and Mountain Equipment Coop and several major donors who prefer to remain anonymous.
The campaign has also attracted significant media attention, appearing in the Economist and the Wall Street Journal, with feature stories in Canadian Geographic (upcoming in Dec 2015), Saltscapes, Herald Magazine and Voyages Magazine (Cruising Club of America).
Charitable donations can be made at 100wildislands.ca or by calling the Nature Trust (902) 425-LAND. More information about the 100 wild islands and the Nature Trust can be found at 100wildislands.ca.
Watch the video below to hear what Mr. Chouinard had to say on a recent visit to the 100 Wild Islands!