Although relatively small, Amherst Point has much to offer. Designated a Migratory Bird Sanctuary in 1947 at the request of neighbouring landowners, it assumed its present size of 433 ha (1,070 a) in 1980. Together with the 600 ha (1,480 a) John Lusby Marsh, it makes up the Chignecto National Wildlife Area. A surprising variety of habitat lie within the sanctuary, but 66% of its area is open water, marsh, and bogs, or controlled water-level impoundments, an environment ideal for waterfowl.
The enclosed wetlands, specifically the impoundments created by the dikes and sluices built by Ducks Unlimited in the 1970s, are among the best waterfowl breeding grounds in Nova Scotia. More than 200 bird species have been observed at Amherst Point, which is a regular nesting site for regionally rare varieties such as gadwall, redhead, ruddy duck, virginia rail, common gallinule, and black tern. Gypsum deposits underlie the entire area, and, from 1935 to 1942, a commercial mine operated near the sanctuary.
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