Nova Scotia's Sable Island is now under the control of Parks Canada, which takes over from the Canadian Coast Guard as the keepers of the island.

Parks Canada will control who is permitted to be on the island.

One of Parks Canada's mandates will be to protect the island's delicate ecosystems.

Rick Welsford, with the Sable Island Preservation Trust, is pleased with the takeover.

"These are remote locations which are environmentally sensitive, but have great interest by the Canadian public. The public want to go and involve themselves — to visit, experience, and engage — and Parks Canada are the best suited for doing it," he said.

Fewer than 250 people visit the island every year, but that number is expected to jump. Parks Canada is working on a management plan.

The island was named a national park last October. The provincial and federal governments signed an agreement  that bans drilling for oil or natural gas from the surface out to one nautical mile.

Sable Island, about 300 kilometres southeast of Halifax, is 42 kilometres long. It's known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic because it's ringed by 300 years of shipwrecks.

It's home to an estimated 400 wild horses, descendants of animals brought to the island during the late 1700s. It's also the breeding ground for seals and birds, including the rare Ipswich sparrow.