Nova Scotia

Ottawa pledges $1.45M to protect 7 ecological sites in Nova Scotia

The federal government will put up to $1.45 million toward protecting 1,200 hectares of ecologically valuable land at seven sites in Nova Scotia as long as the Nova Scotia Nature Trust raises $750,000 by March 31.

Nova Scotia Nature Trust must hit its own fundraising target of $750K by end of March

The Nova Scotia Nature Trust still has to raise $250,000 by the end of March. (Scott Leslie)

The federal government is pledging up to $1.45 million in a campaign to protect 1,200 hectares of ecologically valuable land at seven sites in Nova Scotia.

But the money comes with a deadline.

Ottawa has created a fund to get what it calls "quick wins" for immediate biodiversity conservation. That money must be spent by March 31. 

(Submitted by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust)

The Nova Scotia Nature Trust has been named as a partner and has launched a fundraising drive.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the non-profit charitable organization had raised $500,000 of its $750,000 goal, which it must hit by the end of March to meet the federal requirements for the conservation program.

The trust said the arrangement will leverage $4 for every dollar raised by the public.

"This is a huge opportunity to make a significant and immediate gain in biodiversity in Nova Scotia," Bonnie Sutherland, executive director of the trust, said following Tuesday's announcement.

"We need Nova Scotians to step up and make it happen."

If the Nova Scotia Nature Trust meets its funding target, then the additional 1,200 hectares of land will match what the organization has previously conserved. (Scott Leslie)

Provincial money is also coming from the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust, an independent agency endowed by the provincial government with offshore revenue. It is expected to be in the ballpark of what Ottawa is contributing but the exact amount was not specified Tuesday. 

The seven sites span Nova Scotia. They are Seal Island, Barren Meadow, 100 Wild Islands, St. Mary's River, Cobequid Hills, Mabou Highlands and Baddeck River.

The 1,200 hectares will match all of the land the Nova Scotia Nature Trust has protected in the past 13 years.

The Mabou Highlands is one of seven sites across Nova Scotia that would be conserved. (Len Wagg)

Ottawa has set a target to protect 17 per cent of Canada by 2020. The government has set aside $15 million for its quick start program in the 2018-19 fiscal year. 

The federal funding was announced by Central Nova Liberal MP Sean Fraser, parliamentary secretary to the minister of environment and climate change.

On Monday, Fraser announced $3.4 million in Parks Canada funding for Sable Island.


Paul Withers


Paul Withers is an award-winning journalist whose career started in the 1970s as a cartoonist. He has been covering Nova Scotia politics for more than 20 years.