History  |  Annual events  |  Industry  |  Ecology  |  Services  |  Schools  




Pugwash River Estuary
For those not familiar with an estuary, it is a semi-enclosed body of water, formed when freshwater from rivers and coastal streams flow into and mix with the ocean’s salt water. They are fascinating and beautiful ecosystems, distinct from all other places on earth. Although influenced by tides, estuaries are protected from the full force of ocean waves, winds and storms. Their sheltered waters support unique communities of plants and animals. They are among the most productive places on earth.

A dedicated group of volunteers formed Friends of the Pugwash Estuary, to help protect and enhance the Pugwash River environment. The Friends, along with the Department of Fisheries, maintain an accurate overview of the health of the river and estuary.

The Friends of the Pugwash Estuary discover the past, protect the present, enrich the future and educate on the importance of estuaries.

For more information and how you can help, please contact Alice Power,  a.power@seasidehighspeed.ns.ca or phone 902-243-3580

Find the Friends of the Estuary on Facebook


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), is Canada’s largest private land conservation organization. For over 12 years, NCC has been working to protect the rich and diverse wetlands and forests of the Pugwash Estuary. Working in partnership with local landowners, community volunteers and the groups like the Friends of Pugwash, NCC has successfully protected over 1,000 acres of salt marsh, mudflat and forest ecosystems here, and 15 kilometres of shoreline. NCC’s work here represents the largest assembly of conservation land anywhere along the Northumberland Strait in Nova Scotia.



Wallace Bay Wildlife Area
The Wallace Bay Wildlife Area, locally known as the “
bite-o", is a project of the Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment Canada), Ducks Unlimited and the Wallace and Area Development Association (WADA). It opened in 1980. The Wildlife Area sits on 585 hectares of land. In the early 1700s French settlers built aboiteaux (dykes) to collect fresh water and keep it separate from the salt water. By separating the salt and fresh water the aboiteau created boundaries between many ecosystems.

An easy six kilometre trail winds along the aboiteau, across salt marsh, tidal flats and mudflats. It continues through Ducks Unlimited duck impoundment in fresh water marsh, swamp and mudflats. The trail passes through hard and softwood, cleared land, neglected farms, scrub, streams and bogs.

From rest stops and watch houses one can see hawks, osprey, eagles, herons, the occasional bittern, kingfishers, woodpeckers or some other of the area’s 168 bird species. Stand quietly; gently tap two stones together and a rail may come to you. One can also see 21 species of fish, amphibians and reptiles. The Wildlife Area is the habitat of 26 species of mammals, including muskrats and beavers.

The parking lot has a canoe and kayak ramp into fresh or salt water. The only facilities are picnic tables.

Directions: East of Pugwash on the Sunrise Trail, ten kilometres. Turn left onto the Aboiteau Road. It is approximately three kilometres to the Wallace Bay Wildlife Area.


 Back to the Top