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Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada

Natural Environment

Climate, lakes, rivers, surficial deposits and soils play important roles in the northern Cape Breton ecosystem. Marine regions outside the park are also important contributors to the ecosystem.

If You Don't Like the Weather, Wait a Bit - the Climate of Northern Cape Breton . The Maritime Boreal climate of northern Cape Breton is characterized by its variable weather, warm summers, cold winters and moderate precipitation. Occasional severe tropical marine storms hit the park in the fall and snowfall can be very heavy in the winter.

The Water of Life - Lakes and Rivers of Cape Breton Highlands National Park . Fresh water is perhaps the single most important resource in the park because water quality affects all plants and animals, including humans. Seventeen major watersheds drain the park, traveling from small acidic lakes on the plateau, through gorges and canyons and down to the sea.

Rooted in Time - Soils and Surficial Deposits . Most plants need soil to grow and so in a way, soil is the raw material of the food chain. The soils in the park are mostly poor, thin and stony, easily stripped away by the passage of many feet.

The Briny Deep - Marine Regions Off Cape Breton Highlands National Park . The marine regions next to the park are important to the ecosystem, having a major effect on the climate. Tidal upwelling along the Laurentian channel supports a rich marine food chain, from microscopic plankton all the way up to whales.