TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2007) - Today, WWF-Canada extended the full international support of the WWF global network to the governments of Canada and Ontario for signing an agreement to establish the largest freshwater reserve in the world. One million hectares of western Lake Superior will become Canada's first National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA).
"This is indeed an important day for conservation in Canada and a
long-awaited victory for the residents of the North Shore," said Mike
Russill, President and CEO of WWF-Canada. "We wish to thank Minister
John Baird and Minister David Ramsay for their leadership in making
today's announcement possible. For ten years, First Nations, municipal
officials, canoeists, hikers, photographers, hunters, anglers, local
business owners, commercial fishing interests, boaters, even the mining
industry, and of course representatives from both Parks Canada and the
Ministry of Natural Resources have worked toward this day. WWF has been
pleased to play a supportive role from the beginning."
In a letter of congratulations to the federal Minister of the
Environment, John Baird, and provincial Minister of Natural Resources,
David Ramsay, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, President
Emeritus of WWF-International, said "I believe that all the people
living in the area, particularly those who served as an advisory group
to help achieve the protection of this immense area, have every reason
to feel very proud of their invaluable contribution to the future of
Canada and all its citizens."
Prince Philip has been closely involved and monitoring the progress
of negotiations for almost ten years now, urging protection through two
press conferences in Canada, and awarding certificates of appreciation
to local citizens who worked so hard to make today's announcement
The big water, shoreline and islands of Lake Superior are certainly
among the most rugged and pristine in the world. Their beauty has been
celebrated by painters such as the Group of Seven, especially Lawren
Harris. Their history has been captured in song by Canadian icon Gordon
Lightfoot. And thousands of Canadians experience the power of "North of
Superior" every year when they travel along the shoreline on the
Trans-Canada Highway. The new conservation area will bring with it new
regional investment in tourism, which should strengthen the North Shore
To the south, the conservation area is internationally significant
because it links to Isle Royale National Park in the U.S. - a large
island in the middle of Lake Superior famous for its isolated
population of wolves. But Isle Royale also includes a large lake
component, protecting still more freshwater.
To the north, the new conservation zone will anchor a spectacular
complex of provincially-protected lands and waters, including: the
Nipigon River, renowned for world-record speckled trout; Lake Nipigon,
where endangered woodland caribou calve on secluded islands; and
Wabakimi Wilderness Park, another million hectares of woodlands and
wintering areas for those same caribou.
"It's a great day for peregrine falcons, eagles, osprey, bears,
wolves, caribou and of course, those deep cold-water fish like lake
trout, whitefish and walleye that school in the sparkling clear water
unparalleled anywhere," said Monte Hummel, President Emeritus of
WWF-Canada and one-time canoe guide in the area. "This is the kind of
natural wonder that makes Canada the envy of the world, and we do well
to protect it for future generations, everywhere."
Protected areas like the Lake Superior NMCA are a critical and
often overlooked tool to help conserve our freshwater resources, and
must be applied together with a comprehensive strategy to address all
threats to water levels and water quality.
WWF-Canada: A Superior Day for CanadaThursday, 25 October 2007
Today, WWF-Canada extended the full international support of the WWF global network to the governments of Canada and Ontario for signing an agreement to establish the largest freshwater reserve in the world. One million hectares of western Lake Superior will become Canada's first National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA).
David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.