Government of Canada makes a significant investment in Eastern Nova Scotia through the Oceans Protection Plan

May 8, 2019

Halifax, Nova Scotia – Making our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier for all Canadians and future generations is a top priority for the Government of Canada.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Member of Parliament for Central Nova, Sean Fraser, announced that the St. Mary’s River Association and the Nova Scotia Salmon Association will together receive up to $1.8 million over three years to restore watersheds and coastal habitats in Eastern Nova Scotia thanks to funding under the Oceans Protection Plan.

The project with St. Mary’s River Association aims to address issues of acidification in key salmon bearing streams and to continue to expand upon existing habitat restoration work on the West Branch. The goal of this project is to improve the aquatic habitat for many species including Atlantic salmon, Brook trout and American eel, that rely on both freshwater and coastal habitats throughout their life cycle.

The Nova Scotia Salmon Association will focus on the improvement of water quality and restoration of physical habitat in the West River, Sheet Harbour and its estuary. It is expected that many species will benefit from this restoration work, including Atlantic salmon, Brook trout, American eel, Alewife and Blueback herring.

In May 2017, the Government of Canada announced the $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund to help rehabilitate some of our most vulnerable coastlines and protect marine life and ecosystems. So far, partners have started over 30 multi-year projects that contribute to healthier habitats for fish on all of Canada’s coasts. All of these projects have included Indigenous involvement.

Launched in November 2016, the 5-year, $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. Since the Plan’s launch, the Government of Canada has invested in hundreds of projects that are making our marine safety system stronger, and protecting our coastal environments and marine species more than ever before. Based on the latest science and technology, Indigenous partnerships and collaboration, these projects bring us closer to healthier, cleaner and safer oceans.


“Through our Oceans Protection Plan, we are collaborating with local communities to make our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier. The St. Mary’s River is an important Atlantic salmon bearing waterway, and I am pleased that during International Year of the Salmon, we are working with the St. Mary’s River Association and the Nova Scotia Salmon Association to ensure healthy coastal habitats in Eastern Nova Scotia.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“We are committed to working with our local organizations and coastal communities to ensure strong and sustainable fisheries for future generations. Our investment in the Coastal Restoration Fund, particularly here in Nova Scotia is a critical part of our Oceans Protection Plan. I’m proud to work with both the St. Mary’s River Association and the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, as well as my colleague the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Jonathan Wilkinson on such projects.”

Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova

“On behalf of the Government of Nova Scotia, I would like to commend the Federal Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s on their contribution towards maintaining and restoring the habitat on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. These precious habitats are great examples of assets supporting our long-term eco tourism strategy.”

The Honourable Stephan McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia

“The St. Mary’s River Association is very pleased that Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson supports the continued habitat restoration efforts of our Association. These funds will continue to improve our river habitat and support the return of the endangered Atlantic salmon to our pristine river eco system. Our association of volunteers has been able to raise over 1.1 million dollars over the past 5 years which has restored 15 kms of river habitat and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.”

Scott Beaver, President St. Mary’s River Association

“We would like to thank DFO for providing this coastal restoration funding in support of the restoration of Atlantic coastal watersheds. The NSSA appreciates the current and past support of DFO staff for NSSA programs such as the West River Sheet Harbour acid rain mitigation project. The NSSA has been at the forefront of dealing with the lasting legacy of acid rain in Nova Scotia since the late 1990’s. The funding provided here will permit the continued expansion of our acid rain mitigation efforts. It will also permit new restoration efforts in the estuary which is critical for species such as Atlantic salmon and sea run Brook trout. Finally, it will support the development of important restoration capacity in the region with made-in-Canada solutions to the challenges facing our fisheries.”

Bob Rutherford, Co-ordinator Field Programs Nova Scotia Salmon Association

Quick facts

  • These projects are among 24 projects that will be announced following the recent call for proposals under  the Coastal Restoration Fund.
  • This will mean the Department has funded a total of 64 projects to date.
  • The funds from the Coastal Restoration Fund are allowing both organizations to further their existing restoration activities.
  • All funds announced today are conditional to the finalization of the contribution agreements.

Associated links


Jocelyn Lubczuk
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada


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