Sable Island is situated 180 km southeast of Nova Scotia, Canada in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is a crescent-shaped sandbar emerging from the vast shoals and shallows which historically caused many shipwrecks. Almost 2 km at its widest point, it is about 38 km long and is covered with grass and other low-growing vegetation. Sable means "sand" in French.
It is home to over 250 wild horses who are protected by law from human interference. Several large bird colonies are here, Arctic terns, and Ipswich sparrows who breed nowhere else.
Beginning over 200 years ago, lighthouse and life-saving crews and their animals have inhabited the island. A brief attempt at colonization at the end of the 16th century by the French failed. Meteorological and atmospheric studies are routinely conducted on Sable because of its unique geographic position down-wind from the mainland.
Sable Island is mentioned in the book and a staged version appears in the movie The Perfect Storm. The island is specifically mentioned in the Constitution of Canada as being the responsibility of the federal government. It is presently under the administrative control of the Canadian Coast Guard.
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