News release

Greater Land Protection Across Nova Scotia

NOTE: A list of the protected areas follows the release

Nova Scotia has extensive coastline, pristine lakes and rivers, diverse ecosystems and an array of scenic views.

Government is committed to protecting the province’s land and waterways with the addition of 10 more designated protected areas. Two of the areas will be recognized with Mi’kmaw names.

“Nova Scotia is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and there are many ways to enjoy connecting with nature here. Many parts of Nova Scotia are important for Indigenous conservation values, and we will continue to work with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia,” said Environment Minister Gordon Wilson. “Thank you to the many people who helped us take another step toward our goal of protecting 13 per cent of our land.”

This work was completed with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Canada Nature Fund and with contributions by private landowners, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

The province consulted with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs and with the public. The consultation included the proposed Archibald Lake Wilderness Area in Guysborough County. However, additional time is needed before making a decision on its protection.


Katewe’katik and Pu’tlaqne’katik are places of great cultural and spiritual significance for my people. This is where my ancestors lived, raised their families, gathered medicines, hunted, collected birch bark, built canoes and constructed eel weirs. I am delighted that these lands are now protected and I look forward to working with the Nova Scotia government to ensure that they are managed using local Indigenous knowledge. Melissa Labrador, Indigenous guardian, Wildcat Community, Acadia First Nation

The Nature Conservancy of Canada applauds the government for its continued commitment to this province’s natural heritage. We are pleased to collaborate with the government, partner groups and local residents to protect ecologically sensitive habitats. Since 1971, our organization has been helping preserve biodiversity in Nova Scotia and is active in many of the areas unveiled today. We believe this announcement will support and enhance conservation outcomes and be a catalyst for more private landowners to help leave a legacy by entrusting their lands. Margo Morrison, acting regional vice president, Atlantic Provinces, Nature Conservancy of Canada

Quick Facts:

  • in September 2019, government designated 17 new and expanded protected areas around the province
  • the 10 new and expanded sites include five wilderness areas, three nature reserves and two new provincial parks
  • together, these will bring the province’s total protected land to about 12.83 per cent
  • these protected areas are part of the province’s in-kind contribution to the federal Challenge Fund investment
  • these sites will be added to Nova Scotia’s existing 74 wilderness areas, 92 nature reserves and the 11 provincial parks which contribute to land protection goals

Additional Resources:

Descriptions and locations of protected areas are available at:

A summary of the consultation is available at:


The following sites are now designated as protected areas:


  • Silver River Wilderness Area, Digby County
  • Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Area, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Terence Bay Wilderness Area, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • River Denys Nature Reserve, Inverness County

New sites:

  • Katewe'katik (previously McGowan Lake), Annapolis County
  • Peppered Moon Nature Reserve, Queens County
  • Pu’tlaqne’katik (previously Shingle Lake and Pleasant River), Lunenburg and Queens counties
  • St. Margarets Bay Islands Nature Reserve, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Barra Forest Provincial Park, Victoria County
  • St. Marys River Provincial Park, Guysborough and Pictou counties