Iceberg in Lancaster Sound last August. Photo Eric Solomon.

On December 6, the long-proposed National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound took a significant step forward. We were pleased to hear Minister John Baird’s announcement stating that formal public consultations and the process for establishing the protected area will be getting underway.

We’ve been following the discussion and dialogue closely over the past few years, and know first-hand the uniqueness of this area of Canada. Aquarium teams have been in various parts of Lancaster Sound over the last three years and we’ve experienced the tremendous ecological richness and beauty of the region. We understand the significance of the Sound to the Inuit in the region, as well as many others in the North and elsewhere in Canada.  There’s a lot of work to do before the new conservation area becomes a reality, but the dialogue has moved from “if” to “what” and “when”, and that’s a step in the right direction.

For our part, we’re looking forward to the establishment of a steering committee and the Aquarium will provide support in any way we can as the process moves forward.

Here’s the Parks Canada announcement and here’s a good description of what a National Marine Conservation Area actually is.

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