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Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter was formed in 2003. During our history, we have had many exciting and successful projects, supporting our mission to protect Newfoundland and Labrador’s wildspaces. A list of past projects can be found below.



Special Marine Areas in Newfoundland and Labrador Guide

In 2009, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society of Newfoundland and Labrador (CPAWS-NL) published the first “Special Marine Areas in Newfoundland and Labrador” Guide. This is the first document that has integrated the input and literature of Governments, Indiegnous Governments, Academia, Non-Governmental Organizations and Community Members,  to aid in increasing public understanding of important areas in the province, as well as any current or potential threats to these areas; assist with education and public awareness-raising efforts concerning coastal and ocean management; and be a resource to communities, organizations and government departments involved in coastal and ocean strategy development. A total of 73 sites are described in this document. Each site summary provides a general site description, and descriptions of the marine habitats, marine life of note, special features, existing protection and current or potential threats in each site, as well as some recommendations for protection of the integrity of the marine ecosystems in each site. This document has been used extensively in marine work throughout the province by an array of stakeholders, and a request for a second edition was made.

In 2018, the second edition was released where 73 additional sites were recognized, previous sites were updated, threats were reviewed, and its structure was changed to highlight eco-units, all of which was again completed through a working group of academia, governments, ENGOs, and Indigenous Governments.

Together, 140 special marine areas are highlighted, that include coastal sites, coral beds, bird colonies, breeding areas, fish spawning grounds, and migratory routes.

First Edition

Second Edition

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The Adopt-A-Beach program recruited volunteers as Stewards in key communities to monitor beached on their local beaches.

Beached bird surveys are a valuable tool to monitor various sources of mortality occurring in the marine environment, which can otherwise be difficult to assess. They provide information on mortality occurring in the offshore marine environment, such as exposure to oil pollution, entanglement with fishing gear, and weather-related stranding

The data collected was used to provide scientific-based information that helped with management decisions at various levels. Monitoring mortality rates is critical in ensuring our marine environment and its resources are health, sustainable and available for future generations.

Interested participants were provided with survey kits and trained by a Wildlife Biologist from Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service.

Adopt-a-Beach Brochure



Coalition For Sustainable Forests Of Newfoundland & Labrador

The Vision of this Coalition was to coordinate a coalition of citizens and interest groups with regional representation in order to provide clear direction to assist Government in implementing a Sustainable Forest Management Strategy.

Objectives Included:

  • Re-define forest management to fit within the objectives and needs of community-based planning and development, i.e., local ownership.
  • To encourage and contribute to the development of ecosystem-based guidelines for each ecoregion in the province.
  • Contribute to the development of a template for applying ecosystem-based planning to forest management in the province.
  • Help create clear links between 5-year forest district plans and ecological management objectives in the province.
  • Contribute to the development of 5-year forest district plans that are consistent with the sustainable forest management strategy of NL align with the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (1992) framework.
  • Establish community-based groups and contacts in order to promote local sustainable forest management practices.
  • Establish regional representation on the CSF for NL
  • Establish a highly credible scientific advisory group to the CSF.



Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.

CPAWS-NL and National Geographic partnered together to create a geotourism map of Newfoundland and Labrador! 

Become part of the Experience!  Visit the geotourism website today,


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Protected Areas Forum

On May 13, 2015, a one-day forum on protected areas was held in St. John’s. This is arguably the first time in ten years such a forum was held. The event was organized by CPAWS-NL and Nature NL. The day was well attended with 47 people.

The protected areas forum provided an ambitious list of action items which included:

  • Provincial government becoming more involved in MPAs 
  • Work with local communities, building relationships within towns (esp. where there is a potential protected areas)
  • Engage outfitters and adventure tourism, fracking awareness groups
  • Urge management of land use between and outside protected areas so as to be compatible with wildlife
  • Establishing nature and marine classrooms – linking to curriculum outcomes
  • NL outdoor educators – consult to identify new interpretative models
  • More local examples in school curriculum
  • Community enforcement

Report of the First Newfoundland and Labrador Protected Areas Forum.



Responsible Hiking & ATV Use

With the rapid increase of tourism to Newfoundland and Labrador it is evident that responsible tourism and recreation activities need to be encouraged in order to enjoy these natural areas now and in the future without, ensuring the ecological integrity of the area is not threatened.

CPAWS-NL created the following brochures to highlight how we can be responsible when hiking, camping, and using ATVs.

Responsible ATV Use



Ocean Memories

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.