About Sable Island

Perched at the edge of the continental shelf, over 100 km from mainland Nova Scotia, Sable Island occupies a unique place in the geography and imagination of North America. The island is only 40 km long and 2 km wide at its widest, yet its landscape is surprisingly varied. Grassy dunes and lush heath-covered vales support rich biodiversity that includes several endemic plants and animals. Its placement at the intersection of key ocean currents where the jet stream exits eastern North America, has brought the island storms and shipwrecks, and a special place in the history and legends of the North Atlantic.

All this makes Sable Island a key site for exploring questions of global importance. Here, scientists study weather patterns and currents that spread pollution along the Eastern Seaboard, track migrant birds waylaid by storms, and observe thriving communities of isolated plants and animals.

The Sable Island National Park Reserve was established in December 2013—Canada’s 43rd national park, and the third national park to be created within the Province of Nova Scotia. National parks are established to protect and present representative examples of natural landscapes and phenomena that occur in Canada’s wild places. Parks Canada is responsible for protecting the habitats, wildlife and ecosystem diversity of natural areas, and for managing access and activities in these areas so that visitors have opportunities to understand, appreciate, and enjoy parks in ways that will not compromise their ecological integrity.
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