Nova Scotia is investing an additional $20 million to help protect more of its land and water and designating another 9,300 hectares of Crown land for the benefit of Nova Scotians and the environment.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Timothy Halman made the announcements on December 12 in Middle Sackville near the newly designated Sackville River Wilderness Area. It covers about 800 hectares of mature forests, wetlands, lakes and waterways. This protected area will help conserve the Sackville River, the Pockwock watershed, which provides communities with drinking water, and recreation areas.
The additional funding will go to the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust, which helps private land conservation organizations with the cost of acquiring and protecting private land. The work of these organizations is critical to help Nova Scotia reach its 2030 land protection goal.
“Today’s announcement takes us one step forward in our government’s work to protect 20 per cent of our land and water by 2030,” said Minister Halman. “Government cannot achieve this goal alone, and there is still lots of work ahead of us. The funding announced today will help our land conservation partners continue their important work and leadership. Together we will help ensure a sustainable and healthy future for our province, our people and our economy.”
Minister Halman also announced the creation of six new nature reserves and the expansion of seven existing wilderness areas. The newly protected areas announced today bring the total amount of land and fresh water protected in Nova Scotia to over 13 per cent.
“In addition to all that we enjoy about nature, protecting more land in Nova Scotia is critically important for our sustainable and prosperous future. It supports biodiversity and helps with carbon capture which are key as our climate changes. That’s why we’re committed to reaching our protected area goals and grateful to all our partners for helping us achieve them.” – Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables
— the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act contains 28 goals to address climate change and achieve sustainable prosperity, including protecting 20 per cent of Nova Scotia’s land and water by 2030
— Nova Scotia’s protected areas conserve the province’s biodiversity, unique habitats, coastlines, and natural landscapes and features while providing places for people to connect with nature and play an essential role in fighting climate change
— to help reach the 2030 protection goal and to identify additional areas for protection, the departments of Environment and Climate Change and Natural Resources and Renewables are developing a protected areas strategy which will be released by the end of 2023
— the Province’s climate change plan, Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth, has five actions to protect and restore natural areas and ecosystems so they can help minimize climate impacts.
The ecological sites announced as new nature reserves are:
— Barneys River Nature Reserve, Pictou County (567 hectares)
— Big Meadow Brook Nature Reserve, Hants County (284 hectares)
— Cherry Hill Beach Nature Reserve, Lunenburg County (27 hectares)
— Glendyer Nature Reserve, Inverness County (276 hectares)
— Les Caps Nature Reserve, Inverness County (22 hectares)
— Porcupine Brook Nature Reserve, Annapolis County (238 hectares)
The expanded wilderness areas and their increases in size are:
— Eastern Shore Islands, Halifax Regional Municipality, 96 hectares
— Economy River, Colchester and Cumberland Counties, 5,495 hectares
— Eigg Mountain-James River, Antigonish County, 71 hectares
— Medway Lakes, Annapolis County, 430 hectares
— Middle River Framboise, Cape Breton County, 21 hectares
— Portapique River, Colchester and Cumberland counties, 974 hectares
— Wentworth Valley, Cumberland County, 65 hectares