TOOLKITS

Parks Canada

Marine Protection and Conservation at Parks Canada

Parks Canada administers one of the finest and most extensive systems of natural and cultural heritage places in the world. National historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas provide Canadians and visitors the opportunity to discover, learn about, and connect with Canada’s national treasures. 

This Parks Canada toolkit will take you on a journey from coast to coast to coast to explore the immersive experiences and collaborative conservation efforts that Parks Canada undertakes in marine protection and conservation. Browse the toolkit for videos, observation activities, arts and crafts creations, and to learn about the different ways of exploring marine heritage at places administered by Parks Canada across the country.

Marine Protection and Conservation at Parks Canada

Parks Canada administers one of the finest and most extensive systems of natural and cultural heritage places in the world. National historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas provide Canadians and visitors the opportunity to discover, learn about, and connect with Canada’s national treasures. 

This Parks Canada toolkit will take you on a journey from coast to coast to coast to explore the immersive experiences and collaborative conservation efforts that Parks Canada undertakes in marine protection and conservation. Browse the toolkit for videos, observation activities, arts and crafts creations, and to learn about the different ways of exploring marine heritage at places administered by Parks Canada across the country.

 
Did you know?

Canada has over 243,000 km of coastline along the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific ocean, and another 9500 km along the Great Lakes. We have the longest coastline of any country in the world!

 

National Marine Conservation Areas

National marine conservation areas (NMCAs) protect representative examples of Canada’s 29 marine regions for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of Canadians and the world. Parks Canada currently manages five national marine conservation areas.

 
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Canada’s Marine and Coastal Conservation Target

Grounded by science, Indigenous knowledge, and local perspectives, Canada is committed to protecting and conserving the marine environment and is working toward a target of conserving 25% of our marine and coastal areas by 2025, and 30% by 2030.

Photo credit: H. Wittenborn © Parks Canada, Torngat Mountains National Park 
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Canadian Heritage Rivers System

Rivers are intrinsically connected to the ocean and they are a vital part of Canada’s ecosystems. The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) is Canada’s national river conservation program. Established in 1984, the CHRS gives national recognition to Canada’s outstanding rivers and encourages their long-term management to conserve their natural, cultural, and recreational values for the benefit and enjoyment of Canadians, now and in the future. There are currently 41 Canadian Heritage Rivers across the country, totalling over 10,000 km.

Photo credit: Rob Stimpson © Parks Canada, Nahanni National Park Reserve
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Parks Canada Marine Programming 

Parks Canada is committed to protecting and presenting nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural treasures and cultural wonders. Explore outstanding examples of marine programs and initiatives at Parks Canada.

 

Bergs by Boat (Torngat Mountains National Park)

The subarctic Torngat Mountains are an Inuit homeland, a treasury of the powerful stories, spirits, and traditions of centuries of travellers. Accompanied by Parks Canada staff and an Inuit Bear Guard, visitors observe majestic icebergs and polar bears, seabirds, seals, and whales, learning the local Inuttitut names and their importance to Inuit culture.

Inuit have lived at the Torngat Mountains National Park for centuries and still fish and hunt across the wide tundra valleys where Arctic creatures roam. Remote, stark, and dramatically beautiful, the park is a rare place to meet and spend time with Inuit in their homeland.

Watch the videos below to learn more.

Photo credit: Heiko Wittenborn © Parks Canada, Torngat Mountains National Park 
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Coastie 

When you take a photo of yourself, that’s a selfie. When you take a photo of the coast, that’s a Coastie!

“Coastie” invites Canadians to take a photo using their smartphone at one of five participating places administered by Parks Canada, and then upload their photo to coastiecanada.ca. The University of Windsor analyzes these photos to monitor coastal erosion, riptides, ice presence, and to better understand climate change impacts across places administered by Parks Canada.

Photo credit: Scott Munn © Parks Canada, Prince Edward Island National Park
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Sea Garden Restoration (Gulf Islands National Park Reserve)

A tended sea garden has many purposes. It serves as a pantry, teeming with delicious food. It is a classroom, where Elders share knowledge and work alongside youth.  Some days, we move big boulders while listening to stories. On other days, we use scales and gauges to assess the health of the intertidal ecosystem. Together, the entire community cares for the sea garden to keep it healthy.

Photo credit: Iain Robert Reid  © Parks Canada, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
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Fish Talk with Leo 

Discover what’s going on along the shorelines and under the waves at Parks Canada!

Inquisitive and playful, Leo the catfish takes us behind the scenes and helps us dive into some of the science and conservation work being done across the country. Join Leo as he asks pertinent questions to Parks Canada experts!

 

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St. Lawrence Live! (Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park)

This is your chance to take command of a scuba diving mission!

Based at the Marine Environment Discovery Centre in Les Escoumins, follow diver-interpreters through a high-definition live broadcast of the vibrant underwater life of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. You can communicate with them while exploring the world of starfish, anemones, and sea cucumbers.

The Parks Canada team has made some of the underwater images accessible to young people in their classrooms. Curious? Check out this École en réseau webcast.

Photo credit: Louis Falardeau © Parks Canada, Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park
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Connect & Share

This final section of the Toolkit offers additional Parks Canada activities to learn more about marine life and natural heritage through science, storytelling, and fun crafts.

 

Whales Garland (Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park) 

Whales are among the largest and most captivating mammals on the planet! At the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park there are lots of different kinds of whales. Enjoy this heart shaped whale garland to show your love for the whales all year long!

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Food Chain Fun! (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve) 

Join Parks Canada staff to explore the food chain of the Southern Resident Killer Whales. Complete a fun craft that portrays the different animals and plants that killer whales and other species rely on to keep the ocean healthy. We can’t wait to see your finished product!

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Water Meditation (Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area)

Freshwater is one of the most important parts of the natural world, and something for which we should all be grateful. Relax on the shores of Lake Superior for a guided meditation reflecting on the importance of freshwater in our lives.

Crédit photo : Dale Wilson  © Parcs Canada, Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area
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Whales Garland (Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park) 

Whales are among the largest and most captivating mammals on the planet! At the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park there are lots of different kinds of whales. Enjoy this heart shaped whale garland to show your love for the whales all year long!

Food Chain Fun! (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve) 

Join Parks Canada staff to explore the food chain of the Southern Resident Killer Whales. Complete a fun craft that portrays the different animals and plants that killer whales and other species rely on to keep the ocean healthy. We can’t wait to see your finished product!

Water Meditation (Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area)

Freshwater is one of the most important parts of the natural world, and something for which we should all be grateful. Relax on the shores of Lake Superior for a guided meditation reflecting on the importance of freshwater in our lives.

Crédit photo : Dale Wilson  © Parcs Canada, Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area
 
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Marine Connections Playlist

Jump into the water with us to explore the amazing marine heritage we protect and conserve in collaboration with partners.

Dive along shipwrecks, paddle with salmon, and swim in a kelp forest through this selection of some of our best marine videos.

WATCH THE VIDEOS
 

Loop back into other Ocean Week Canada activities