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Feasibility Assessment for the Proposed Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area

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Government of Canada announces boundary proposal for Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area

Critical step forward in protecting the “Serengeti of the Arctic”

Polar Bears
Polar Bears
© Parks Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, December 6, 2010 – The Honourable John Baird, Canada’s Environment Minister, the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced the Government of Canada’s position on a potential future boundary for a national marine conservation area (NMCA) in Lancaster Sound. This represents an important step in Canada’s commitment to protect the marine waters and wildlife of Lancaster Sound, a globally-significant ecological treasure that has been referred to as the “Serengeti of the Arctic”.

“Today’s announcement represents an important step forward in delivering on Canada’s commitment to work with the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association towards protecting this incredibly important ecological area,” said Minister Baird. “By communicating a coherent, federal position on a potential conservation area boundary, we are setting the stage for respectful, transparent consultations with our key partners and the public so that all perspectives are fully considered before decisions on a final boundary and other considerations are contemplated.”

Because of its combination of oceanographic and biological characteristics, Lancaster Sound is an area of very high ecological significance. Lancaster Sound is located between Baffin and Ellesmere Islands, in Nunavut. It is an area of critical ecological importance to marine mammals, including seals, narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales, as well as walrus and polar bears, and it is bordered by some of the most important seabird breeding colonies in the Arctic, with populations in the hundreds of thousands. Read the news release

Map - Boundary proposal for Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area

Map - boundary proposal for Lancaster Sound. Map - boundary proposal for Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area
© Parks Canada