CAN - Addition to Protected Islands Helps Realize Vision for Eastern Shore

SHERBROOKE – With protected status granted to 20 more sites across the province last week, one community leader here sees hope for what he calls the “sanctuary of the enlightened,” provided government continues to listen to its constituents.

“I embrace any long-term action the province undertakes to protect our lands for all the peoples of our province,” says Neil Black, chair of the Sherbrooke-based Rural Institute of Culture Heritage and Environmental Sustainability (RICHES), adding: “Government must react to the people of the Eastern Shore.”

Black’s comments came following news that the province has proposed an 82-hectare addition to the Eastern Shore Islands Wilderness Area (ESIWA). The new parcel on Gerrard Island, southeast off the coast of Sheet Harbour, “is bordered by properties which have been secured and protected by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust as part of its 100 Wild Islands conservation initiative,” according to the site map.

“Adding this to Eastern Shore Islands Wilderness Area supports efforts by multiple partners to secure and protect islands and certain headlands along the Eastern Shore and to provide opportunities for Nova Scotians and visitors to experience this wild coast.”

The ESIWA comprises 400 provincially-owned islands, extending from Clam Harbour in Halifax Regional Municipality to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River. “They form a large part of a world-class archipelago of coastal islands, and boast an impressive diversity of coastal features and habitats,” the site map says.

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