MPA Showcase Across Canada’s Three Oceans: The Atlantic

The intricate deep-sea ecosystem of the Laurentian Channel, housing species such as cold-water corals, sea anemones, sea pens, fish species and larger aquatic life

With the longest coastline in the world and a motto of A Mari Usque Ad Mare or “From Sea to Sea,” Canada has a vested interest in protecting its marine resources. 14 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and 4 National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCAs) have been implemented to preserve a healthy marine environment, support cultural and socioeconomic facets of local communities and the nation as a whole.

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MPA Showcase Across Canada’s Three Oceans: The Pacific

Sedmond Creek, Gwaii Haanas National Park

Set afloat 130 km north of Vancouver Island in the Pacific Ocean is the ethereal and rain-forested Haida Gwaii, or “Islands of the People,” (1) – an archipelago consisting of 200 small islands and islets that are the ancestral home of the Haida People. In the southernmost portion and consisting 15% of the islands lies the Gwaii Haanas (“Islands of Beauty”) (2) National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site (Figure 1), an NMCA protected under Canada’s National Marine Conservation Areas Act (3).

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MPA Showcase Across Canada’s Three Oceans: The Arctic

Pair of walruses on an ice floe in the Canadian Arctic

In the remote, Artic tundra of Canada’s far north lies the country’s largest and northernmost protected area (both marine and terrestrial) in terms of surface area – Tuvaijuittuq, or “the place where the ice never melts” in Inuktut (1). Designated in August 2019, it encompasses a surface area of 319,411 km2 (larger than the entire land area of Italy) and is located on the northwest coast of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, above the boundary of the Arctic Circle and just below the Geographic North Pole.

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