The news has been leaked!
According to news reports here
, Sable Island — haven for migratory birds, home to wild horses, and known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic by sailors — will become a national park.
Bottom line, this is good news. Important bird habitat will receive permanent protection. But conferring national park designation upon this tiny strip of coastal dune habitat is not without its challenges. The biggest potential problem: more people.
From the Globe and Mail:
Until now, anyone who wanted to visit Sable Island needed a permit from the Canadian Coast Guard, which holds jurisdiction over the island under the Canada Shipping Act. Fewer than 100 people arrived on the island each year under the old system, because getting there isn’t easy. Sable experiences up to 127 days of fog annually and can be reached only by chartered boat or plane. But interest from tourists has been increasing…
The risk of increased visitors that comes with the island’s national park designation really underscores the need for a park management plan that strictly limits visitor numbers and outlines timing of visits, visitor activities and services, to ensure the island is truly protected in the long term.
Photo: Ipswich Savannah Sparrow, by Zoe Lucas, Sable Island Green Horse Society.