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Save Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park protects 1,805 square kilometres of western Newfoundland’s coastal lowlands and towering Long Range Mountains and is one of Canada’s most treasured national parks. Gros Morne was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its unique geological features and spectacular natural beauty. In 2013 the park was threatened by a proposal to drill and frack for oil metres from the boundary. After a huge public outcry this proposal was stopped, but Gros Morne is still vulnerable to future industrial proposals. That's why CPAWS is working with concerned local community members, businesses and prominent Canadians to encourage the federal and provincial governments to create a permanent buffer zone around the park to protect it from harmful industrialization.

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The threat

In 2013 Gros Morne was threatened by a proposal to drill a series of oil exploration wells along the west coast of Newfoundland. The drilling program would have used hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as fracking)—the high-pressure injection of water containing toxic chemicals to shatter underground shale beds—to extract oil. Industrializing the Gros Morne coastline would not only have threatened the remarkable ecosystems of this World Heritage Site, it would have threatened the vital regional and provincial tourism economy which relies on the pristine natural beauty of Gros Morne’s coast and mountains to attract visitors from across Canada and around the world.

On November 5th, 2013 the provincial government announced a moratorium on fracking to allow time for further study and public consultation. Then on December 5th 2013, the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board announced it would not renew the license of the company proposing it. The license expired on January 14th, 2014.

While these measures are a welcome reprieve for Gros Morne, they are not long term solutions. The park and regional tourism economy are still vulnerable to future industrial proposals. What’s needed is a buffer zone around the park to keep Gros Morne permanently free of oil drilling and fracking and other harmful industrial threats.

In June 2014, in response to concerns raised by CPAWS, local citizens and businesses, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee recommended that Canada create a permanent protective buffer zone around the Gros Morne National Park to prevent harm from future industrial activities around the park.

What CPAWS is doing


Working closely with local concerned citizens, CPAWS is urging the provincial and federal governments to ACT NOW to establish a buffer zone around Gros Morne to keep the national park and surrounding area permanently free from industrial threats like oil drilling and fracking.

Gros Morne in the news

UNESCO formally recommends industrial buffer around Gros Morne national park - The Telegram, July 14, 2016

Newfoundland Fracking Report Says There Are Too Many Unknowns - Huffington Post, May 31, 2016

Fracking not 'a game changer' for N.L., says independent report - CBC, May 31, 2016

UNESCO draft decision again urges industrial buffer around Gros Morne National Park - CBC, May 27, 2016

Buffer zone couldhelp protect Gros Morne National Park, group says - The Western Star, March 25, 2015

Artists press Harper for buffer to spare Gros Morne park from fracking - Globe & Mail, Jan 12, 2015

From Hey Rosetta to Joseph Boyden, artists want buffer around Gros Morne park - CTV News, Jan 12, 2015

Famous Canadians call for no-fracking zone near Gros Morne - CBC, Jan 12, 2015

Harper, premier urged to protect Gros Morne - Orangeville Banner, Jan 12, 2015

Economic development can't come at expense of tourism: Nicolle - The Western Star, Jan 13, 2015

Fracking debate flares as industry struggles - The Telegram, Jan 13, 2015

Leave it out of the conversation - The Western Star EDITORIAL, Jan 13, 2015

Anti-fracking buffer needed around Gros Morne park, UNESCO urges Ottawa - Globe & Mail, June 19, 2014

Fracking buffer around Gros Morne needed: UNESCO - CBC, June 19, 2014

Canada should protect Gros Morne from fracking: UNESCO - Macleans, June 19, 2014

UNESCO wants buffer zone around Gros Morne National Park - CBC May 3, 2014

Gros Morne fracking proponent loses exploration licence - CBC, December 13, 2013

Moratorium on fracking announced by Newfoundland government - The Telegram, November 4, 2013

Fracking proposal divides residents near Gros Morne - CBC News, July 30, 2013

Oil projects near Newfoundland heritage site raise alarms - The Globe and Mail, July 14, 2013

Potential fracking in Gros Morne raises concerns for UN's world heritage agency - Sue Bailey, Canadian Press, June 20, 2013

Gros Morne fracking issue causing significant reaction - CBC News, May 18, 2013

Fracking may jeopardize Gros Morne UNESCO status: 'Very clearly this is an issue of concern to us,' UNESCO unit chief says - CBC News, May 17, 2013

Gros Morne: Is the world heritage site at risk of losing UNESCO status? - CTV News, May 2013




Help us spread the word about Gros Morne and help us reach 10,000 names on the petition. Click on the links below to download graphics and suggested posts.
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For more information:

Community Workshop on Gros Morne Buffer Zone – What we Heard

Backgrounder: World Heritage

For updates and current events/information: Save Gros Morne & our West Coast (on Facebook)

For more information on fracking:

More information about World Heritage:

2014 World Heritage Committee State of Conservation Report and Recommendations for Gros Morne:

2013 World Heritage Committee State of Conservation Report and Recommendations for Gros Morne:

More information about World Heritage Buffer Zones:


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