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Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Gwaii Haanas has hundreds of kilometres of shoreline © Parks Canada

The interconnections between land and sea are most visible on the shorelines, but the sea influences all Gwaii Haanas landscapes in profound ways.

Gwaii Haanas features 1700 km of coastline, which includes biologically diverse ecosystems such as vegetated fringe landward of the shoreline to the shallow sub-tidal (20m depth).

The shores feature rocks of different sizes, sand and estuaries. These ecosystems have received the greatest levels of current and historical human use.



Windy Bay estuary © Parks Canada
Parks Canada and its partners conduct research and monitoring on a wide range of coastal ecosystems.

Shorebird surveys, including those of keystone species Black Oystercatcher, which serve as sentinel species in detecting early declines in ecosystem health, are conducted regularly. Seabird breeding populations are monitored in key locations.

Invasive fauna (rats, racoons, deer) are monitored throughout Gwaii Haanas with remote cameras. Research and monitoring of coastal physical processes, including surveys of changing dunes and erosion of cultural sites like middens and village sites, is also conducted.

 

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