Little Charles Island: Protecting a 100 Wild Islands crown jewel

21 Sep 2022

Protected in late 2022 thanks to an outpouring of public support, Little Charles Island is an ecologically diverse and significant 24-acre island, at the heart of the 100 Wild Islands archipelago. It features idyllic mossy rainforest, stunning pocket beaches, a prominent wetland, and dramatic headlands and rock formations.

Coined “Nova Scotia’s most significant yet least-known natural treasure,” the 100 Wild Islands form a vast and wild archipelago of over 280 beautiful, unspoiled coastal islands nestled between Clam Harbour Beach and Taylor Head, just over an hour from downtown Halifax. One of the last, large, ecologically-rich and intact island groups in North America, the archipelago encompasses over 7,000 acres of diverse coastal habitats, hundreds of kilometres of shoreline and a rich diversity of wildlife.

Little Charles Island, 100 Wild Islands

We’ve had remarkable success in realizing what was considered a highly ambitious if not impossible dream of protecting the entire 100 Wild Islands, having secured over 85 per cent of the islands to date, in partnership with the province and with the support of many island owners, community members, donors and volunteers.

Little Charles is connected to the Nature Trust’s 530-acre Borgles Island by a vast white sand beach bordered on both sides by beautiful turquoise bays.

The islands and coastal headlands, including nearby Owls Head, function as one interconnected and evolving ecosystem. The island group protects rich coastal biodiversity and helps to mitigate climate change impacts.

Beyond its important environmental and conservation values, the island is important for people too. Wilderness paddlers, sailors, and local families alike have been enjoying the island for generations.

Borgles Beach, connecting Borgles Island and Little Charles

The Nature Trust began trying to secure the island in 2013, and in 2022 that perseverance finally paid off. The island’s owners, non-resident developers, offered us a chance to acquire the property before it went up for sale on the open market, and after your incredible support, we were able to raise the final $200,000 required to save Little Charles Island.

Saving Little Charles Island is the latest in the Nature Trust’s efforts to protect Twice the Wild – an ambitious campaign launched in 2020 to double our protected space for nature by 2025.

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