Nova Scotia Nature Trust acquires two lands on the South Shore
The Nova Scotia Nature Trust (NSNT) has three new coastal properties to add to its growing list of protected areas.
The properties are Sand Beach, a 62 hectare plot just south of Liverpool; Middle Island, located just off Cherry Hill Beach near Port Medway; and 40 hectares of land at Lowland Cove in Cape Breton.
“It’s a really exciting achievement that we’ve been able to protect three amazing coastal properties,” said Bonnie Sutherland, Executive Director of NSNT.
“Our coast is so precious, and yet it is mostly private, with only 5% of it protected, the rest under threat of development.” She said the acquisition of the three properties is a “victory for coastal conservation”, which is important for biodiversity and protection against climate change. “It’s a big win for Nova Scotia.
All three properties have been identified as high priority by the organization. They were privately owned and offered for sale to the trust.
NSNT had to raise $200,000 to purchase the three lots. This was later matched by partnerships with the federal government and the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust, which resulted in $1 million, enough to purchase all three properties.
Middle Island is important for migrating and nesting birds. It was the only one of an archipelago of islands off Cherry Hill Beach that had not yet been protected.
Sutherland described Sand Beach as “a spectacular piece of rugged coastline”. As well as a striking sandy beach, it has ponds and streams and carbon-rich bogs that help sequester carbon, “which is so important for climate change”.
It is also home to a variety of breeding and migrating birds, reptiles and endangered lichens.
At the northern tip of Cape Breton and amidst vast provincially protected wilderness, Lowland Cove, formerly privately owned, contains ancient hardwood forest and “beautiful coastline.”
Acquiring the land not only protects the area from development, but will also help connect the proposed Seawall Trail, which promises to be 30 miles of hiking along cliffs and uplands.
Founded 28 years ago, NSNT works to save ecologically valuable land. Last year, the organization launched its Twice the Wild campaign, aiming to raise $4 million that would reach four times that amount in matching funds through its partnerships.
The campaign’s goal is to protect 6,070 hectares by 2023. Sutherland said the trust is on its way to a third party and has already raised a total of $20 million.
“I think the pandemic has really made people think about what’s important in life and how important nature is to people. Nature needs us more than ever. We try to protect these special wilderness areas and keep them wild so our great-great-grandchildren can still experience wild Nova Scotia,” Sutherland said.
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