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CPAWS celebrates protection of Arctic wildlife areas - Niginganiq, Qaqulluit, Akpait

  • Published on Aug 22 2008 |
  • This article is tagged as: nunavut

Ottawa - The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) congratulates the community of Clyde River on Baffin Island, the Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and the federal government today for protecting vital bowhead whale feeding grounds and two large bird colonies in Canada’s Arctic. By protecting the marine environment, as well as the land, these new National Wildlife Areas are an important recognition of the vital interdependency of ecosystems on land and sea. 

CPAWS, one of Canada’s oldest and largest environmental organizations, celebrates the continued conservation commitment demonstrated by the federal government. 

“Today, this government acted to protect our black-and-white “penguins of the north” – about 200,000 breeding pairs of thick-billed murres. They also protected Canada’s largest northern fulmar colony – feisty birds that spit stomach oil on predators. And they are the government to finally protect Canada’s special marine area called “Niginganiq” – a body of water off Baffin Island, with rich summertime feeding grounds for the endangered bowhead whales of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait,” says Sabine Jessen, CPAWS national manager of Canada’s oceans and freshwaters. “Today, this government has lifted all Canadians, by protecting our living legacies in the north and keeping these creatures strong and free.” 

It’s also a day for CPAWS to celebrate the longstanding efforts of the Inuit in Nunavut and especially the community of Clyde River, who have long fought to conserve the vital bowhead feeding grounds and pristine marine ecosystem in their nearby waters called “Niginganiq”. 

“They never gave up in their quest to fully protect their cultural waters. Bowhead whales – these massive creatures breaching offshore – remain such iconic symbols of their past and futures,” says Jessen. 

Jessen, who visited Nunavut and met with the people of Clyde River last month, learned firsthand about the community and their deep conservation commitment.

“It’s an important day, when the Arctic receives protection. It’s important for the environment, Canada’s sovereignty and economic stimulus in northern communities,” says Jessen. “Wilderness protection is one of the greatest gifts this government can give to Canadians and the planet at large.”

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For more information:

Sabine Jessen, National Manager, Oceans and Great Freshwater Lakes Program, CPAWS
Cell: 604-657-2813
sabine@cpawsbc.org

Alison Woodley, Manager, National Protected Areas Program, CPAWS
Cell: 613-203-1172
awoodley@cpaws.org