06/18/2015 02:32 EDT | Updated 06/18/2016 05:59 EDT

Crown-owned islands on eastern shore among 23 new protected areas in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX - Hundreds of Crown-owned islands on Nova Scotia's eastern shore and 22 other sites across the province are being legally protected as wilderness areas or nature reserves.

Environment Minister Randy Delorey says protecting the string of islands from Clam Bay to Liscomb Point will not only preserve nature but will ensure they will remain available to support tourism and recreational activities.

The designation, along with private lands acquired on the eastern shore by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, means more than 2,000 hectares is now being protected.

The province is also protecting additions to the Cloud Lake Wilderness Area in Annapolis and Kings counties, and an expansion of Eigg Mountain-James River Wilderness Area in Antigonish County, among others.

In addition, more Crown land is being legally designated in two provincial parks under the parks and protected areas plan.

The additions include 1,700 hectares to Cape Chignecto Provincial Park and 566 hectares to Blomidon Provincial Park.