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Federal investment to help protect sensitive ecosystems of Sable Island

Parks Canada plans to use the money to remove old infrastructure and hazardous debris
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sable island debris
A Universal Carrier found on a Sable Island beach. It is a light tracked vehicle used by the Canadian Army from the early years of the War until the mid-1960s. (Katie Hartai/HalifaxToday.ca)

The federal government has announced $3.4 million in funding to help protect and restore Sable Island National Park Reserve's sensitive ecosystems.

Parks Canada plans to use the money to remove old infrastructure and hazardous debris.

Up to six people now live on the remote crescent-shaped island year round, but at one time it was home to a community.

Known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," according to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, there have been over 350 recorded shipwrecks near Sable Island since 1583.

In an effort to minimize the loss of life and cargo, shelters, lookout towers and life-saving stations were set up there in the 1800s.  

Each station employed up to six men who brought their families to live with them. Lighthouse-keeping staff and their families also were also residents until the last light tower became automated in 1987.

"Some infrastructure associated with these past uses, such as surplus buildings and various kinds of debris, remain on the island, posing potential risks to the island's sensitive ecosystems," says Parks Canada in a news release.

The funding will also go to reducing the use of fossil fuels on the 42 km long sand bar.

"These projects will ensure Sable Island National Park Reserve is protected and continues to be a treasured place that can be shared with future generations," Parks Canada says.

Sable Island is around 300 km southeast of Halifax. It is home to the largest breeding colony of grey seals in the world and an iconic population of wild horses.




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Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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