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Parks Canada’s Gift to the Earth

Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site

Protected from Mountaintop to the Depth of the Ocean

A First for Canada—A First for the World!

The protection in 2010 of 3,500 km2 of Pacific marine waters through the creation of Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site is not only a remarkable conservation action but also a demonstration of international leadership by Canada. For the first time anywhere in the world, an area extending from the mountain summit to the deep ocean floor beyond the continental shelf has been protected.

A Marine Wilderness on the Edge

On the very edge of the Pacific continental shelf, the lands and waters of Gwaii Haanas have long been celebrated for their stunning beauty and remarkable biodiversity. From its temperate rainforests to the surrounding marine waters, the archipelago is a place of great cultural and ecological significance, and a sacred place where the land, sea and people have always been inseparable.

Managed in Partnership

A vision was formed of a contiguous land and marine protected area back in the 1980s when over 1,500 km2 of temperate rainforest wilderness were protected as a national park reserve, in partnership with the Haida Nation. Today this vision has been realized with the creation of the national marine conservation area reserve. Both the land and the marine waters are cooperatively managed, and the Haida Nation and Canada are working together to provide opportunities for others to connect with this remarkable place.

“This is a changing of the tides, as we come to appreciate the fragile and precious nature of our marine areas, we will begin to give the necessary attention to look after and restore our oceans.”
Guujaaw, President of the Haida Nation

Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site
Where the land, sea and people have always been inseparable
© Parks Canada