Halifax chips in to make 100 Wild Islands conservation project a reality

WATCH ABOVE: After a donation from the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia Nature Trust is one step closer to ensuring the protection of hundreds of ecologically diverse islands off the eastern coast of the province. Global’s Jennifer Grudic reports.

Halifax Regional Council voted Tuesday in favour of donating $300,000 to the 100 Wild Islands Campaign.

The campaign was started in 2014 by Nova Scotia Nature Trust in an effort to protect 282 ecologically diverse islands off the province’s eastern coast.

“There are so few wild areas of that scale and that significance left, not just in Nova Scotia but North America and even the world,” said Bonnie Sutherland, Nova Scotia Nature Trust executive director.

“It really is an opportunity for us to protect one of the last, large, best wild coastal places.”

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The city’s donation has allowed the trust to surpass its original goal of $7 million and puts them one step closer to ensuring the area remains protected for years to come.

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“It’s going to be funded over two years. $150,000 over the next couple fiscal years. We’re also going to have a letter of understanding and a memorandum of agreement with them to help promote the Nova Scotia Nature Trust more broadly, not just for our citizens but across the province and across the country,” said District 2 councillor David Hendsbee, a long-time supporter of the campaign.

The Nature Trust has already protected 85 per cent of the land within the archipelago to date. The grant will help them to secure the remaining islands through donations, purchase and conservation easements.

They’re planning on launching the second phase of the campaign within the next few weeks in order to consult with Nova Scotians on how to best preserve, protect and enjoy the land for years to come.

“It’s wonderful that we’ve achieved the goal that allows us to protect the islands legally. But we still are raising funds to steward these islands to look at the whole next phase which is how we make sure that these islands stay protected forever, how we work with the community and look at opportunities for people to come and enjoy the islands for education, recreation.”

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