This area is described as a critical wetland habitat for waterfowl by the B.C. Waterfowl Technical Committee. Over one thousand waterfowl have been observed in the Sturgess Bay / Maast Island wetlands during migration, as well as large flocks of shorebirds. Pacific Brant Geese were also observed at Maast Island in 1980. Other species recorded include the western grebe, long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser, pelagic cormorants(red listed), and great blue heron (blue listed).
The Masset Sound area is recognized by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada as one of the coasts’ most unique marine ecosystems. The western area of Virago Sound is dominated by warm, shallow, sandy and flat bottom with low currents and high exposure. The mouth of Masset Sound is dominated by warm, shallow, sandy and flat bottom with by high current and high exposure. Masset Sound itself is dominated by warm shallow, sandy and flat bottom physiography typified by high current and low exposure. The Masset Sound shoreline is exposed to winds and wave action from the north, while further to the south, by Maast Island, the shoreline is more protected by Dixon Entrance. In a shallow narrow channel to the west of Maast Island profuse eelgrass beds form a ‘hanging lagoons’. Small spike-rush ( Eleocharis parvula ), which is locally rare, is found within the estuaries along Masset sound.
Thirty two archaeological sites contain a number of recorded cultural values. These include at least 182 known culturally modified trees, lithics, pre-contact cultural material, fire broken rock, charcoal, shell midden, deer bone, bird bone, depression, plank house, human remains, seal and sea otter remains, tapered bark strip and rectangular bark strip. Many of these areas have not been inventoried thoroughly which indicates that the heritage site/conservancy likely contains many other unrecorded cultural heritage and archaeological sites.