Sable Island Institute

The Sable Island Institute’s mission is to support and promote the protection and conservation of the natural and cultural values of Sable Island through research, collaboration, and education. The Institute is a multidisciplinary not-for-profit organization based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Sable Island is an isolated and unique landform located far off the east coast of Canada—the nearest landfall is 156 km away. Surrounded by the waters of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, the Island is exposed to winds, storms, waves and swell coming from every direction. It is home to a population of wild horses, and supports colonies of breeding seals and nesting seabirds. Throughout the year there are four to five people working and living on the island. The human population increases periodically with the arrival of researchers, artists, and other visitors. In 2013, the island was designated as the Sable Island National Park Reserve.
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Welcome to Our Website

This website is in development. It has the benefit of an enthusiastic group of contributors who are sharing memoirs, personal perspectives, and images. As this site develops, featured articles, reviews and posts will present resources and information on the island’s natural history, research and monitoring programs, arts and culture, management and operations, community, visitors, and general goings-on. In addition to new content, some items from the Green Horse Society’s website are being updated and moved into the Institute’s site.

We thank the Halifax Regional Municipality for funding (through a Program Grant in the Cultural Communities Sector), and the Friends of the Green Horse Society for funding and expertise, in support of our website project. The Institute’s logo was designed by Rand Gaynor, Halifax.


  • Although the island is not as fouled as many other locations, marine debris is abundant, with some plastic containers originating in Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Japan, Malaysia, South Africa, France, and Russia.

  • An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from Canadian Forces Base Shearwater arrived on Sable Island to dispose of a few years worth of beached, and potentially dangerous, Marine Location Markers (MLMs).

  • So, 9 years later, I’m on a flight returning from Portugal. After hours of looking from my window seat at the vastness of the Atlantic, something shining, small and crescent-shaped, caught my attention.

  • On a clear night Wayne Broomfield set up his tripod and took a series of photos. Later, when he examined the images, he saw a shape like a spinning top glowing in the sky above the Sable Island Station.


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