Managing the land and sea © Parks Canada
Since establishment in 2010, Gwaii Haanas Marine Conservation Area Reserve has operated under an interim management plan.
An integrated land and sea management plan must be completed by late 2015. This document will outline what activities will be allowed where and at what times of year. The plan will also map out marine ecosystem monitoring and how change will be measured.
Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Haida Nation are working closely with local communities, the fishing industry, tourism representatives and others to ensure the plan fits a diversity of needs.
Developing baseline marine inventories of eelgrass meadows, kelp forests and other ecosystems is already underway, as is high quality sea floor mapping on par with busy harbours such as Vancouver.
Parks Canada has three other National Marine Conservation Areas: Fathom Five in the Great Lakes with some land attached to it; Saguenay-St. Lawrence in Quebec, which protects both estuary and fjord; and Lake Superior, which includes small islands and a portion of the north shore. As well, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve covers a mix of land and sea but has no complete watersheds under protection.
Gwaii Haanas is the first protected area in the world to manage an area from mountain top to sea floor. The management planning process will rely on input and discussions with stakeholders, partners and the general public.
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