Nova Scotia Nature Trust | Nova Scotians Protecting Nova Scotia

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Photo by Jeff Amos

St. Marys River Conservation Legacy Campaign!

As part of our focus on protecting Nova Scotia's freshwater legacy, the St. Marys River Conservation Legacy Campaign has been working with private landowners along the St. Marys River to create a "ribbon of green" since 2006. Securing the protection of critical floodplain and upland forest, islands, beaches, and other wildlife habitat along the river is vital to maintaining the health and ecological integrity of the river. The river also provides crutial habitat for two species at risk: Wood Turtle (nationally Threatened), and Atlantic Salmon (Nova Scotia Southern Upland population, assessed as Endangered by COSEWIC). As habitat loss negatively impacts these species across their range, we need to do what we can to secure their long-term ability to find shelter along the St. Marys River.

Photo by Jeff AmosBeyond its tremendous ecological values, the St. Marys River is also a legendary salmon and trout fishing river, and people have explored its waters and forests for centuries. Sections of the river are wonderful for paddling – the river weaves through lush hardwood and towering coniferous forests, with the occasional gently sloping floodplain, perfect for pauses and camping. The river is well-known to birders and naturalists as well, and regularly used for field trips, educational activities and university field schools.

Both local residents and visitors, who travel from afar to experience the magic of the river for themselves, have seen devastating changes over the past few decades. The St. Marys faces increased pressures from many activities, which impact the river’s ecological integrity and the species that live in and around it.

Photo by P.GreenFortunately, there are many people working to preserve the river's wild legacy. Our partners in conservation on the river, including the St. Mary's River Association, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the provincial departments of Environment and Natural Resources, are all bringing their expertise and resources to bear on this challenge.

These are the 9 Conservation Lands, encompassing nearly 800 acres, protected along the river so far:


We extend our sincere thanks to all our supporters, donors, and in-kind partners who have made this project possible. Join us in this important work today!

Special thanks to the generous land donors, who have partnered with the Nature Trust to ensure that their beloved properties are protected, forever:

How You Can Help

Your donation to the St. Marys River Campaign will help the Nature Trust continue to protect and steward important natural areas on the river, while the most significant natural features and processes are still intact. With your support, we can ensure that the St. Marys River, one of Nova Scotia's ecological gems, is there for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

St. Mary's River notecards - Jeff Amos
For your donation of $200 or more, you will receive a free set of St. Marys River notecards, featuring the photography of Jeff Amos.

News and Stories

Major Project Supporters

Hardy & Barbara Eshbaugh
  Lands and Legacies
Conservation Partnership
Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust
Marguerite Hubbard Charitable Foundation David & Faye Sobey Foundation Frank Sobey
The Echo Foundation Keurig Canada Banrock Station Wines
ExxonMobil Small Change Fund  

* Forever Wild St. Mary’s River Logo by Revolve