Sable Island now Formally Protected under National Park Legislation

Dec 01, 2013, 08:00 ET from Parks Canada

OTTAWA, Dec. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Canada's Justice Minister and Attorney General, announced today that the Expansion and Conservation of Canada's National Parks Act has come into force and that the final step in Sable Island becoming a national park reserve is now complete.

"This final step legally brings Sable Island under Canada's strongest legislation for the protection of natural areas - the Canada National Parks Act - and provides Parks Canada with full administrative and legal authority to manage Sable Island as a national park," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This significant achievement was only possible thanks to the hard work and dedication of many Canadians."

"Nova Scotians should feel very proud of this accomplishment," said Minister Mackay. "Today we can officially celebrate that Sable Island National Park Reserve will be protected for future generations of Nova Scotians, and all Canadians, so that everyone may continue to nurture their special bond to this unique and iconic location. With the addition of Sable Island, our province now has three national parks."

The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia both passed legislation to enact a legislative ban against industrial drilling from the surface of Sable Island and out to one nautical mile offshore, thereby creating a 200 square kilometre buffer zone around the national park reserve.

Located in the middle of the Atlantic where many ships came to their last port, Sable Island is an important part of Nova Scotia's maritime heritage. It is a long, narrow, crescent-shaped island located at the edge of the Continental Shelf approximately 290 kilometres southeast of Halifax. It is characterized by sand dunes and grasses and is home to over 190 plant species and 350 species of birds, including the endangered roseate tern. The island's most famous inhabitants are its iconic wild horses, of which there are approximately 500.

SOURCE Parks Canada