Nova Scotia Nature Trust | Nova Scotians Protecting Nova Scotia

Seeking Shelter

The Nature Trust's campaign to preserve Shelter Cove

Aerial view. The Nature Trust has protected, forever, one of Nova Scotia's last pristine coastal headlands--Shelter Cove. For centuries, the Cove's deeply indented bay has provided refuge for seafarers during unexpected storms.

Shelter Cove is one of last unroaded, unspoiled coastal headlands in the province. Spanning 145 acres, it forms the southern end of a spectacular peninsula on Nova Scotia's Eastern shore. The Cove is an irreplaceable natural treasure featuring breathtaking scenery and a rich diversity of natural features:

Unparalled Wilderness Recreation

Shelter Cove is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Visitors from across the province and around the world know it as an outstanding site for sea kayaking, yachting, hiking and wildlife watching. Young and old alike enjoy exploring its sheltered turquoise bays dotted with reefs, islets and islands, seal and seabird colonies, and the half-hidden remains of old homesteads. Many have made the day paddle to the majestic Ship Rock islands - a nearly Nature Trust protected area. And local families picnic and fish here, as their parents and grandparents did before them.

Generous Campaign Support

Friends of Nature Conservation Society

The story of Shelter Cove's preservation begins over 20 years ago with the forward thinking vision of Martin Rudy Haase and the Friends of Nature Conservation Society (FON), a long-standing and highly effective environmental advocacy group. FON acquired this site in the early 80s to prevent its development. They have been the guardians of this very special place ever since, and they wish it to remain a coastal wilderness sanctuary. Recognizing the need for a professional private land conservation organization, with the capacity, resources and expertise to ensure the site's preservation, in perpetuity, FON was keen to transfer Shelter Cove's ownership and care to the Nature Trust. Although this non-profit group was not in a position to donate the entire property, they generously to donated a significant parcel of land, and to sell the second parcel at well below fair market value. We owe a tremendous amount of thanks and appreciation to FON for its foresight and effective stewardship of Shelter Cove.

Martin Rudy Haase

Not only did Rudy provide the leadership and inspiration that saved the Cove from development in the first place, he has also provided a very generous personal donation towards the campaign. Rudy has been an incredible friend not only to the Nature Trust and conservation of natural areas in Nova Scotia, but to the environment as a whole. Read more about this legendary environment hero.

Mountain Equipment Co-op


Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) lead corporate support for the campaign, with a $50,000 environment fund grant. Peter Robinson, CEO of MEC, said, "We care deeply about protecting outstanding natural and outdoor recreation areas, but MEC can't make that happen without land conservation organizations like the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. We chose to partner with the Nature Trust because of their strong track record in private land conservation. The Shelter Cove campaign is an exciting, timely and critical land acquisition project," he added. MEC awards conservation grants on behalf of its members through the MEC Environment Fund.

Denise McDonald, manager of Mountain Equipment Co-op's Halifax store, said "Shelter Cove is a gem, a place where you can experience true wilderness and world-class outdoor recreation. We're thrilled to help make its permanent protection a reality."

Nova Scotia Habitat Conservation Fund

Our final project partner is the Nova Scotia Habitat Conservation Fund. A generous grant of $50,000 from the land acquisition fund completed our land acquisition campaign. We greatly appreciate this generous grant, created through contributions by hunters and trappers of Nova Scotia.

Help Keep Shelter Cove Forever Wild

Aerial view. Shelter Cove is a place that inspires wonder and delight in all who wander its shores. It's a place we want our children and their children to be able to experience. You can help ensure that it will be there for them.

The Shelter Cove campaign successfully raised $640,000 in cash and in-kind support to secure and permanently protect Shelter Cove, through a combination of land purchases and donations. The land will be held in public trust, in perpetuity, as conservation lands.

Funds were raised through corporate donations and personal gifts from the people of Nova Scotia.

The Nature Trust has the expertise and resources to identify, secure and keep outstanding natural areas protected - forever, but it is our partnerships with corporations, foundations and individual donors that provide the critical funding needed to protect Nova Scotia's natural legacy.

Additional donations are still being sought to build a stewardship endowment fund to ensure the long term care and management of this nature sanctuary. To make a donation to the Shelter Cove Endowment Fund, please download the donation form.

Other Campaign Thanks

We would also like to thank all the individual, corporate and government partners who contributed to our Campaign for the Coast and the Shelter Cove Campaign, which has helped make this acquisition possible, especially our major funders:

Mountain Equipment Co-op Nova Scotia Habitat Conservation Fund The EJLB Foundation


EcoAction logo.
Klauss Jensen Davis Conservation Foundation Environment Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program

McCain Foundation McLean Foundation The Sage Environmental Program
Home Depot Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation

and our generous donors of in-kind services:

Boyne Clarke logo. HRM logo. The Printer logo.
Boyne Clarke Barristers and Solicitors Halifax Regional Municipality The Printer


Changing the World: Justin Trudeau Puts Nature Conservation in Perspective (By Daniel MacIsaac for NSNT - October 15, 2006)

Coast Guarded (Daily News - October 15, 2006)

Trust Purchases Land (Chronicle Herald - October 15, 2006)

Justin Trudeau says land purchase will protect area of Nova Scotia coastline (CBC News - October 14, 2006)

Chronicle Herald "Nature Trust Wants to Shelter Cove" (July 15, 2005)

Daily News "Mountain Equipment Donates $50k to Help Buy Shelter Cove" (July 14, 2005)

Canadian Yachting "Preservation Through Perseverance" (July 2006)

Eastern Woods and Waters "Shelter Cove: Coastlines are being bought up - This time it's for Nova Scotians" (June/July 2006)

Lifestyle Nova Scotia "Protecting Shelter Cove and Saint Mary's River" (Summer 2006)