marine

Oceans

The Pacific coast of Canada hosts a globally significant diversity of marine life and ecosystems, but too often, our oceans are out of sight and out of mind, and they are in serious trouble. We need to create marine “parks” – places where conservation is a priority and humans tread lightly.

In this section

Big Eddy
Big Eddy
Protecting the Big Eddy coastal and ocean ecosystems will ensure that its unique biodiversity will have refuge from the many threats posed by human activities. Matching protection on the Canadian side of the Big Eddy with protection on the US side, would not only lead to the long term conservation of marine life, but would also allow for sustainable use in harmony with conservation practices.
Glass sponge reefs
Glass sponge reefs
British Columbia’s prehistoric glass sponge reefs are an international treasure. Found in Hecate Strait and the Southern Strait of Georgia, these fragile reefs provide vital habitat to a wide range of marine animals including endangered rockfish, but are very sensitive to disturbances.
Ocean Planning
British Columbia’s rich coastal waters are home to an incredible abundance and diversity of species, from ancient glass sponges to mighty whales. These waters support a rich and enduring First Nations culture, together with coastal communities and a variety of human activities, including fishing, tourism and recreation, and shipping. Marine planning provides an integrated and holistic approach to managing ocean activities and ensuring sustainable use of our precious marine resources.
Southern Strait of Georgia
Southern Strait of Georgia
Between Vancouver and Victoria lie the emerald waters of the Southern Strait of Georgia, home to Canada's most endangered killer whales. You can help to protect this incredible natural habitat by asking the government to complete the Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area.
Scott Islands
Scott Islands
The Scott Islands – five stormy, foggy, and rocky islands lying off the wave-battered northwestern tip of Vancouver Island – host some two million seabirds each year. These birds nest in colonies, from staggering slopes of breeding murres to colourful gatherings of tufted puffins. The Scott Islands are internationally recognized as a globally significant bird area and are known to be the most important breeding ground for seabirds in BC.
Gwaii Haanas
Gwaii Haanas
Gwaii Haanas: wet wilderness. Huge rains. Swelling, deep seas. Rivers rolling from mountaintops. Water creates the life and breath of this ancient world. It flows as it always has – in a special world that denied glaciation. By safeguarding these marine ecosystems along with the land itself, Canada and the Haida Nation have created one of the greatest vertically-protected areas on Earth. The protected area rises to mountaintops on land and falls 2500 metres below the sea surface to a deep, ocean valley. The interdependent species at every elevation can continue to evolve as nature intended.

Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas (MPAs) safeguard marine animals, like killer whales, rockfish, seabirds and even invertebrates like nudibranchs and octopi. They also protect B.C.’s underwater ecosystems, from kelp forests and seagrass meadows to our deep canyons and volcanic seamounts. We need to protect our amazing underwater worlds and nurture troubled seascapes back to health.

MPAs are internationally recognized as an effective tool for sustaining marine biodiversity and local economies. The ecological benefits of MPAs translates into economic, social and cultural benefits such as sustained fisheries, enhanced recreation opportunities and more effective education and appreciation for the marine environment. In addition, human physical and mental health and well-being are positively impacted by high quality experiences in natural marine environments found in protected areas.

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