On December 1, 2013 Sable Island National Park Reserve became officially protected under Canada's National Parks Act as its 43rd National Park. Parks Canada has assumed full administrative control of the island and has recently compiled an ecological and biodiversity assessment as part of the foundation for producing the legally-required park management plan.
In support of this process, the Friends of Sable Island Society will hold a conference, open to experts and the general public, on the Science and History of Sable Island including the marine environment that surrounds and maintains the island. Co-sponsors of the conference include the Nova Scotian Institute of Science and Dalhousie University School for Resource and Environmental Studies. This is planned as the first of a potential series of conferences related to the appreciation and management of this unique feature of the Canadian landscape. Natural history, cultural history, and park management will be the main conference themes, and these may include: marine and terrestrial biology, geology, sand transport dynamics, atmospheric physics, hydrology, oceanography, cultural history, biodiversity conservation, conservation of cultural relics, visitor management, and any other area of knowledge that will benefit sound management of the island and its surroundings as mandated by law.
Being made entirely of sand, Sable Island is unusually dynamic and its existence depends on the continuous transport of sand from the surrounding bank onto the island's surface, where it is trapped by vegetation and then lost again in storms. This illustrates the unique challenge of managing Sable Island as a park because it is the only National Park surrounded by open sea, and the first one that would disappear as sea levels rise due to crustal changes combined with effects of climate change.
For conference information, see: www.sableislandfriends.ca.