Oceans and Coasts
Newfoundland and Labrador has over 17,500km of coastlines and some of the most biodiverse and rich ocean ecosystems on the planet. CPAWS-NL strives to increase the protection of our coastal and marine environments through many initiatives and grassroots projects.
What are Marine Protected Areas?
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are legally designated areas that provide long-term protection of marine ecosystems, processes, habitats, species, and biodiversity. MPAs contribute to the restoration and replenishment of natural resources for social, economic and cultural enrichment. From the surface of the ocean to the seafloor, MPAs protect our oceans from the threats presented by industrial and other human activities.
On April 25, 2019, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard that all federal marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada will now have to meet a minimum threshold of protection where all future MPAs, including those established under the Oceans Act, the National Marine Conservation Areas Act, and the Canada Wildlife Act, will prohibit oil and gas, mining, bottom trawling and dumping. These standards stem from international standards, such as IUCN and CBD, and will better protect Canada’s Ocean biodiversity.
MPAs in Newfoundland and Labrador
From the North coast of Labrador to the Laurentian Channel to the Southwest Fjords, the ocean off the coast of Newfoundland is home to an abundance of sea life. With over 17,000km of coastline, Newfoundland and Labrador plays and important role in the protection of Canada’s North Atlantic Marine Ecosystem.
There are three MPAs within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Eastport (Duck Islands and Round Island), the two areas total 2.1km2 and the newest fully protected MPA Laurentian Channel at 11,580km2 are located on the island of Newfoundland. Secondly, Gilbert Bay is a 60km2 MPA located on the Southeast Coast of Labrador.
The Laurentian Channel is the first MPA under the new minimum standards mentioned above. It is currently the largest fully protected MPA in Canada!
What CPAWS is Doing
While Canada boasts one of the largest ocean territories in the world, 13.81% of it is protected through meaningful long-term conservation measures. CPAWS is encouraging Canada to complete a national network of marine protected areas that protects at least half of Canada’s ocean estate, with an objective to meet the international target of protecting at least 30% of coastal and marine areas by 2030. We dare Canada to be deeper, protecting 30% of Canada’s Ocean by 2030, and 50% by 2050 – goals that the latest science show are essential over the long term to ensure resilience of the planet.
Over 16,000 people have signed on in support of marine protection in Canada. Add your voice to support advancing marine conservation through the establishment of a network of marine protected areas!
Click Below for Our Oceans and Coasts Projects
Marine Waste Management BackgroundWith over 16,000 kilometers of coastline, it is no surprise that Newfoundland and Labrador has been built along the coast, with many communities relying year after year on the ocean for their livelihood. Due to this connection to the ocean, our province has the highest number of active harbours in the country, [Learn more]
The ocean surrounding Newfoundland and Labrador is rich in marine ecosystems that support marine life from the largest whales to the tiniest plankton, upon which generations of people and a cherished way of life has depended on. Our province boasts the Grand Banks, with some of the most important and productive marine ecosystem in the [Learn more]
The Laurentian Channel has been identified as containing the highest levels of biodiversity off the Newfoundland shores. The variety of depths within the Channel creates great diversity of habitats. These habitats allow many different species to live, spawn and migrate through the area. On World Oceans Day June 8th, 2010, the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister [Learn more]
On World Oceans Day, people around the world celebrate and raise awareness for ocean, which connects us all! For over 10 years, CPAWS-NL has been a part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Ocean’s Day Committee to host a family-friendly, free event to celebrate World Ocean’s Day, in St. John’s. Joint committee members include: CPAWS-NL, Government of [Learn more]
An Ocean Champion is an individual who has an appreciation of the ocean and a shared knowledge of its diversity. By listening to our ocean champions we can learn from them and ensure the ocean and its resources are available for generations to come. Everyday Newfoundland and Labrador’s marine environment is used my various stakeholders for a variety of purposes. CPAWS-NL created this video with the goal of educating the public on the importance of sustainable ocean use and maintaining and improving ocean health.