John Lusby Marsh National Wildlife Area

John Lusby Marsh National Wildlife Area (NWA) is located 5 kilometers (km) southwest of the Town of Amherst in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia in the upper part of the Bay of Fundy.

Description

The 552-hectare (ha) NWA includes the John Lusby Salt Marsh, which is the largest continuous section of this wetland type remaining in the Bay of Fundy ecosystem. Furthermore, the John Lusby Salt Marsh represents about 12 percent of the remaining Bay of Fundy saltmarshes. This natural feature is of regional importance as a staging site for spring and fall migrant shorebird and waterfowl species.

Ariel image of John Lusby NWA
John Lusby Marsh NWA.

This extensive tract of salt marsh borders the Cumberland Basin with small saline ponds (with depths from 15-30 centimetres (cm)) interspersed throughout the marsh. In co-operation with Ducks Unlimited Canada, two brackish impoundments (20 ha with average depths of 45 cm) have been developed along the upland edge.

Image of a duck on water
Male Northern Pintail. Photo: Karen Chappell

Waterfowl uses the NWA extensively during both spring and fall migration and late summer staging periods. Species frequently found include:

  • American black duck
  • green-winged teal
  • American wigeon
  • northern pintail

In summer, broods of American black duck are common on the impoundments and salt marsh ponds. A rare shorebird transient, the European Ruff, has been observed in one of the brackish impoundments. Shorebird species more frequently observed, include:

  • greater yellowlegs
  • lesser yellowlegs
  • short-billed dowitcher
  • willet

More information on John Lusby Marsh NWA is provided in the summary table below.

Management

Under the Canada Wildlife Act, NWAs are protected and managed in accordance with the Wildlife Area Regulations. The primary purpose of NWAs is to protect and conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. For this purpose and according to the legislation, all activities in a NWA that could interfere with the conservation of wildlife can be prohibited. Consequently, most NWAs are not accessible to the public and all other activities are prohibited in all NWAs. However, some activities may be authorized through Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations or the issuance of permits as long as they are consistent with the management plan goals for the NWA. For more information, consult the NWA Management and Activities section.

Access to John Lusby Marsh NWA is not restricted and activities may be permitted in accordance with the conservation objectives of the NWA management plan. Any authorized activities are listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations; signage is also posted at access points.

Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for John Lusby Marsh NWA, include:

  1. wildlife viewing
  2. hiking
  3. swimming
  4. non-commercial picking of edible plants and edible mushrooms
  5. boat launching and boat landing
  6. motorized boating with a motor of less than 10 horsepower
  7. non-motorized boating
  8. cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating 
  9. sport hunting — including with dogs off-leash when hunting waterfowl or upland game birds — from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset, if the hunting is carried out
    • in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for sport hunting in that province; and
    • without the use of toxic shot
  10. sport fishing, in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for sport fishing in that province, during the periods authorized by those laws
  11. trapping in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for trapping in that province
  12. activities referred to in items 1 to 8 and 11 from sunset to sunrise, in addition to during the period referred to in subsection 3.1(3)

More information on access and permitting for John Lusby NWA, can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the Area

See long description below
Map of John Lusby March NWA
Long description

Map showing the southwest area of the city of Amherst in Nova Scotia. The boundaries of the Chignecto and the John Lusby Marsh National Wildlife Areas (NWA) and also the Amherst Point Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) are indicated. The John Lusby Marsh NWA is mainly located in intertidal and permanent water with some small portions of land located on the western shore of the Cumberland Basin. The Chignecto NWA and the Amherst Point Migratory Bird Sanctuary overlap fully. The scale on the map is in kilometers. Permanent water, intertidal water, roads and highways are all indicated on the map. An inset situates the NWA in Canada.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. 

Summary Table

Summary table for John Lusby Marsh NWA
Category Information
Protected Area designation NWA
Province/territory Nova Scotia
Latitude/longitude 48°48' North / 64°15' West
Size 552 ha
Reason for creation of protected area Conservation of significant Upper Bay of Fundy saltmarsh
Date created (Gazetted) 1978 - Legal description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category IV - Habitat / Species Management Area
Additional designations
Keystone or flagship species
Main habitat type Nearly 100% saltmarsh
Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None recorded
Invasive species None recorded
Additional links Birds:

Main threats and challenges Adjacent upland development and coastal erosion/sea level rise
Management Agency Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Public access and usage Authorized activities listed in Schedule I.1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations for John Lusby Marsh NWA, include:

  1. wildlife viewing
  2. hiking
  3. swimming
  4. non-commercial picking of edible plants and edible mushrooms
  5. boat launching and boat landing
  6. motorized boating with a motor of less than 10 horsepower
  7. non-motorized boating
  8. cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating 
  9. sport hunting — including with dogs off-leash when hunting waterfowl or upland game birds — from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset, if the hunting is carried out
    • in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for sport hunting in that province; and
    • without the use of toxic shot
  10. sport fishing, in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for sport fishing in that province, during the periods authorized by those laws
  11. trapping in accordance with any applicable federal permit and any authorization required by the laws of Nova Scotia for trapping in that province
  12. activities referred to in items 1 to 8 and 11 from sunset to  sunrise, in addition to during the period referred to in subsection 3.1(3)

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented on this web page, any notice posted at the NWA site and the law, the law prevails, as it is the legal instrument authorizing the activity.

Contact us

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville, New Brunswick
E4L 4N1

Toll-Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca

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