St. Marys Bay, Nova Scotia

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St. Marys Bay as seen from Smuggler's Cove Provincial Park, Digby County, Nova Scotia

St. Marys Bay (French: Baie Sainte-Marie) is a bay located in western Nova Scotia, Canada, in Digby County.


A sub-basin of the Gulf of Maine, the bay's southeastern shore is formed by mainland Nova Scotia, while its northwestern shore is formed by the Digby Neck, Long Island and Brier Island.

The bay bifurcates the two municipal districts in Digby County, with the Francophone Clare Municipal District located on the mainland portion (southeastern shore) and the Digby Neck being part of the Digby Municipal District, which also occupies the eastern half of the county.

These bodies of water have shaped life on Digby Neck in several ways. Their tides are among the highest in the world, spanning 50 feet (16 metres) in places. The rich and varied flora and fauna of the bays are a result of this tidal action. Regularly exposed swaths of wet ocean floor create a special environment for the species that inhabit these regions. Tidal action also causes a stirring up of the water, allowing whales to feed easily on agitated plankton. This is one reason why the Bay of Fundy is world-renowned for its whale watching trips.[citation needed]

Shipbuilding, once an economic force in the area, was facilitated by the tides. Dry docks allowed ships to be built and floated without moving them, a significant advantage given the size and weight of a large boat. Weir fishing also benefits from the tides. At high tide the weir is submerged, fish swim in to the weir and, at low tide, the fishermen row in and scoop up the fish that are trapped at low tide.

Major communities situated on St. Marys Bay include Sandy Cove, Weymouth, Belliveaus Cove, Comeauville, Saulnierville, and Meteghan.

Public parks are located at Meteghan (Smugglers Cove Provincial Park), Cape St. Marys, (Mavilette Beach). and Plympton (Savary Picnic Park).

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Coordinates: 44°25′N 66°06′W / 44.417°N 66.100°W / 44.417; -66.100