The Gwaii Haanas Crest

The Gwaii Haanas Crest
Parks Canada

The crest of the Archipelago Management Board is a unique design by local Haida artist, Giitsxaa.

The AMB chose the sea otter and the sea urchin because of their significance in the history and tradition of the protected area, and because of their ecological significance.

Kelp forests are among the most productive ecosystems in the waters of Gwaii Haanas. Populations of sea urchins, a kelp-grazing species, were once kept in check by sea otters, ensuring an abundance of kelp - and more life in and around the kelp.

With the extirpation of the sea otters during the fur trade, the natural balance between species in the community has been disturbed, and the health of the kelp forest has been threatened. The loss of the sea otter is a powerful reminder of the vulnerability of individual species and entire ecosystems.