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National Marine Conservation Areas of Canada

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Canada’s National Marine Conservation Areas System Plan

Canada’s Pacific Marine Environment


Map showing Park Canada's 5 Pacific marine regions used in the context of its national marine conservation areas program
Scuba diver
© Parks Canada

Including islands, our Pacific coastline stretches 29,489 km - 11% of Canada's ocean shoreline.

It overlaps four distinct continental plates with several related fault zones, making this the most earthquake prone area in Canada.

Affected by extensive glaciation, the coastal areas "drowned" as the glaciers melted at the end of the last ice age. The outer coast of resistant volcanic rocks resurfaced as an extremely rugged and complex shoreline, characterized by deep fjords and inlets extending up to 110 km inland. The east facing coastlines are generally less rugged.

The continental shelf is very narrow, rarely reaching 95 km and generally less than 45 km wide.

Tides are moderate, ranging from 2.5-4.0 m with strong tidal currents in the numerous restricted passages.

Water temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year, ranging from 6°-14°C overall and reaching 18°-20°C in sheltered areas during the warmest months.

Queen Charlotte Shelf Queen Charlotte Sound Hecate Strait Vancouver Island Shelf Strait of Georgia
Last Updated: 2013-05-10 To the top
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