Conference 2017 – Expedition Cruising

AH18 October 16, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Creating Ambassadors: Expedition Cruising Helps Secure the Future of Sable Island” Allow us to introduce Cedar Swan, an adventurer and passionate outdoor enthusiast. The CEO of Adventure Canada—as well as an expedition planner…

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Conference 2017 – Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks:

AH18 October 15, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks: Following a Digital Paper Trail” With some 350 ships thought to have wrecked on Sable Island, it’s sometimes called “The Graveyard of the Atlantic”. At our conference, Bill…

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Conference 2017 – Marine Debris and Micro Plastics

AH18 October 14, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Atlantic Canada Microplastics Research Project” Marine debris and micro plastics. Unpleasant for sure, but what does the research tell us? Ariel Smith, MEnv, is the Marine Debris Project Coordinator at Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation…

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Conference 2017 – Sable Island Horse Research

AH18 October 13, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Population Ecology of the Sable Island Horses”  Sable Island’s most famous inhabitants are its horses. And here’s the man who may understand them the best.Philip D. McLoughlin is an Associate Professor…

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Thank You Bill Freedman

October 28, 2015

It was sad to hear of the passing of Bill Freedman in late September 2015.…

AGM 2015 Recap

June 25, 2015

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2015 Annual General Meeting on June 24th at the…

Conference Thanks

June 2, 2015

One month ago today we opened the first Sable Island Conference. It was exciting to…

E-2: “Assessing Sable Island’s Archaeological Resources – 5 Centuries of Heritage” – Daniel Finamore, Ph.D. and William Barton


The project looks at the history (1500s – 1900s) of temporary and semi-permanent settlements on Sable Island, ranging from shipwrecked sailor encampments, fishing camps, salvage/wrecking operations and lifesaving stations. Archaeological evidence of these diverse uses is part of the island’s, the country’s and international maritime history’s cultural heritage. In August 2010 a four day initial site survey of pedestrian transects and surface reconnaissance was targeted at locations derived from historic maps, aerial photography, written accounts, art and the likely needs of shipwreck survivors/inhabitants with the goal of assessing the feasibility of future investigations of greater depth. Although weather conditions and time allowed for visiting a limited number of areas, several sites were identified, including one with early 18th-century or late 17th-century artifacts predating the Humane Establishment by a century.

The project’s findings suggest that a more complete understanding of Sable’s archaeological resources and early occupation can be achieved through future investigations. This will likely require repeated surface surveys after erosion and dune blowout. Considerable “local knowledge” of historic sites has been lost in the decades since the close of the Humane Establishment. A higher level of awareness among island visitors regarding the significance of cultural resources and the systematic reporting of relics would add to the knowledge base and protect disappearing and deteriorating cultural resources. The investigators are planning a second survey to examine areas of the island not covered in the first study and to observe the effects of dune erosion over time at previous sites.