A Legacy at Risk

Nova Scotia’s coastal legacy is at risk. Less than 5% of our coast is protected. With over 85% of coastal lands privately owned and facing unprecedented pressures, conservation, public access and enjoyment of our coast are all threatened.  The need to protect our coast has never been greater.

Despite Nova Scotia’s long history of settlement, a vast archipelago of over 100 islands on the Eastern Shore remained largely undisturbed since the last ice age.  Yet increasing pressures threatened this last great, wild coastal archipelago.

Dean Casavechia

Dean Casavechia

Over 100 Wild Reasons for Hope

Largely unknown, the Nature Trust explored and uncovered that the islands are truly a globally-significant ecological treasure.  Our discoveries have been profound.  Rainforests (yes, rainforests in Nova Scotia!).  Globally rare plants and lichens.  Nesting seabirds unknown to this part of Nova Scotia.  Over 280 islands and an incredible richness of biodiversity.

The islands support an interconnected mosaic of every coastal habitat found on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia:

  • Beautiful white sand beaches, sheltered coves and headlands

  • Boreal forests, bogs and barrens, largely undisturbed by humans for over 10,000 years

  • Over 400 acres of wetlands, saltmarshes, eelgrass meadows

  • Large freshwater lakes. On coastal islands!

  • Over 250 kilometers of pristine coastal shorelines

  • Many of Nova Scotia’s biggest islands, several over 500 acres

  • Refuge for more than 120 species of birds from majestic eagles and osprey, to seabird colonies and a rich diversity of shorebirds and forest songbirds

  • Important habitats for imperiled species, including harlequin ducks and eiders

  • Globally significant ‘benchmark’ coastal and forest ecosystems

  • Unparalleled opportunities for research, education and discovery

This once little known archipelago is now one of Nova Scotia’s greatest natural treasures. 

Scott Leslie

Scott Leslie

Our Opportunity:  the 100 Wild Islands Legacy Campaign

Once we discovered just how important, how rare and how fragile this island paradise is, we had to act.  With one of the planet’s last vast, wild, and ecologically rich coastal archipelagos, right here in our own backyard, we knew it must be saved.  Before it’s too late.

Read more about how we are saving the islands and protecting them forever.