A Dartmouth family has donated islands on the Eastern Shore that have been in their family's possession for more than a century, giving them to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Mike's Islands are a series of islands, measuring 16 hectares, located in the upper reaches of Musquodoboit Harbour.
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Byrne Williams said the islands were acquired by his sea-faring grandfather, Captain Mike Williams, in the 1890s.
He said the upkeep is difficult for the family and said donating the islands to the conservancy seemed like the right thing to do.
"It's very strategic, as far as ecology goes. It's quite a waterway, lovely salmon run and all sorts of seabirds," said Williams, "And it mates up well with other holdings that the Nature Conservancy and others have in that particular waterway."
According to the not-for-profit conservancy's press release, the area is home to a number of species including sandpipers and is known as a spawning area for declining Atlantic salmon.
The newest protected area will be named after Capt. Williams and his wife, Ellen.
The federal government's Natural Areas Conservation Program provided about $21,000 in funding for ecological surveys of the area. The Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust, Sobey's, Exxon and Mountain Equipment Co-op also provided funding for the project.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada now manages 10 islands, measuring 546 hectares, in Musquodoboit Harbour.