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Scuba Diving at Brier Island, Nova Scotia

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Brier Island is located in Digby County, Nova Scotia, on the Bay of Fundy.

The island is the westernmost point of Nova Scotia and the southern end of the North Mountain ridge; Long Island lies immediately northeast; both islands are part of the Digby Neck. Brier Island is approximately 7.5 kilometres (4.7 miles) long and 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) wide, and is made of basalt. (Volcanic Rock)

Sea to Sky

Brier Island is separated from Long Island by the 0.5-kilometer (0.31-mile) Grand Passage. Westport is the only village on the island. The population as of 2016 was 218. There were 98 private dwellings that were occupied all year.

The island is an important stopover for migrating seabirds.

Liquid Diving

The local economy is fueled by the year-round commercial fishing industry and the seasonal tourism industry, which primarily focuses on whale watching tours.

R. E. Robicheau Ltd., a general store with a gas pump, gift shop, and café, is located on the island. The Brier Island Lodge is the island’s only hotel, located on its eastern side. There are also several bed and breakfasts, a secondhand bookstore, and gift shops. The island is home to the fishing village of Westport, which is connected to Freeport on Long Island via a ferry operated by the provincial government.

Brier Island is frequently inundated with fog and has seen 57 documented shipwrecks. The island has “a lighthouse per mile” with the Northern and Western lighthouses on the island, as well as the Peter Island lighthouse in Grand Passage; all are automated and run by the Canadian Coast Guard. In 1908, the wreck of the barque “Aurora” provided lumber for the Westport Community Hall.

The Canadian Coast Guard maintains CCG Station Westport in the village. The rescue cutter CCGC Westport responds to search and rescue incidents in the eastern Gulf of Maine, as well as the southern and eastern Bay of Fundy, 24 hours a day, seven days per week.



About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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