Ottawa to fund cleanup of buildings, debris on iconic Sable Island

Sable Island, the windswept sandbar off Nova Scotia famous for its wild horses and the world's largest breeding colony of grey seals, is getting federal money for a cleanup.

Ottawa announced $3.4 million Monday to remove surplus buildings and other debris from Sable Island National Park Reserve, and to design energy measures to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

The island has a centuries-long history of human inhabitants, and evidence of that history, such as unused buildings and debris, including hazardous debris, remain on the isolated island, posing a risk to its sensitive ecosystems.

Nova Scotia MP Sean Fraser, parliamentary secretary to the federal environment minister, says the project will help preserve the 42-kilometre-long island for future generations.

Dubbed the Graveyard of the Atlantic, some 350 vessels have wrecked on the island's shores and hidden reefs since the mid-1700s.

It is home to hundreds of namesake horses, which have roamed there since the 18th century and become synonymous with its romantic and untamed image.