Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Port Joli, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Nature Conservancy of Canada announces new East Coast Nature Fund

December 1, 2021
Nova Scotia


Charitable land trust eyes new projects in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia and the Atlantic provinces are known for their spectacular views and amazing wildlife, and a national land conservation group wants to safeguard more areas for wildlife, plants and people. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is marking its 50th anniversary in the region by announcing the East Coast Nature Fund.

The charitable land trust is appealing to people, businesses, foundations and all levels of government to help lay the foundation for the next 50 years by helping the group protect more of our forests, wetlands and coastal shoreline areas. Doing so also contributes toward Canada’s international target of protecting 30 per cent of its lands and waters by 2030.

“With climate change, severe weather and erosion continuing to pressure local infrastructure and communities, NCC is urging people to consider entrusting their lands to save some of the region’s most important habitats. There are many opportunities to create new nature reserves and expand existing ones for plants and wildlife but also for people to visit and enjoy. Seventy-one per cent of Nova Scotia’s land base is privately owned,” said Kelly Cain, regional vice president for the Atlantic provinces.

NCC is presently raising funds to purchase two important sites in Port Joli, which would add 157 hectares of land and coastline to the current 630 hectares the group conserves. Three federally established Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBS) surround the Port Joli area. Since 2006, NCC has worked in the area with the support of donors and volunteers. More details can be found here.

There is also a key 566-hectare conservation project along the Nova Scotia–New Brunswick border. The Chignecto Isthmus is only 24 kilometres wide at its most narrow point and is fragmented by roads. The region is sensitive to climate change too, making it difficult for wildlife to travel between provinces. In addition to endangered mainland moose, it is also home to Canada lynx, bobcat and other wildlife, along with many waterfowl. Over the past decade, NCC has conserved about 4,800 hectares of forests and wetlands here.

Within Nova Scotia, NCC has created 42 nature reserves and protected over 16,800 hectares of wetlands, forests and coastal areas in the province through land donations and purchases. But more needs to be done to address rapid biodiversity loss and our unsettling climate.

Bill Jones is a Maritime business leader who has volunteered with the organization for 30 years. He was founding chair of NCC’s Atlantic Regional Board of Directors and also served nationally. Jones is encouraging people and businesses to contribute to the conservation and enhancement of our natural areas.

"NCC is the leader in private land conservation and has an excellent information and knowledge base. We have a large diversified undeveloped Canadian land mass, plus our dedicated committed capable staff, volunteers, and donors. It is becoming increasingly essential for us to preserve and protect representative natural areas in all of Canada in perpetuity,” said Jones.

People can learn more about NCC’s work in Nova Scotia by visiting our website.


  • To date, NCC has created over 100 nature reserves in Atlantic Canada by working with private landowners and donors. This has resulted in over 460 conservation projects, including 142 land donations, placing 35,000 hectares of ecologically sensitive habitat into conservation status.
  • NCC sites in Atlantic Canada provide a home for 38 different wildlife and plant species at risk, including nine endangered, 16 threatened species and 13 listed in the national category as of special concern.
  • NCC has established 11 Atlantic Canadian Nature Destinations for people to visit and enjoy, five of which are located in Nova Scotia. They include Abraham Lake, close to Sheet Harbour, Brier Island, Pugwash Estuary, Gaff Point near Lunenburg and the Shaw Wilderness Park in Halifax Regional Municipality.
  • NCC’s first nature reserve in Atlantic Canada, was established in 1971 at Sight Point within the coastal wilds of Cape Breton Island’s Mabou Highlands


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to conserve 14 million hectares, coast to coast to coast. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

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