Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) can protect ocean habitats from harmful activities, allowing marine ecosystems and species to recover and better withstand the impacts of climate change. Canada has committed to protecting 25% of its ocean by 2025, working towards protecting 30% by 2030. Learn more about Canada’s marine protected areas by visiting our Interactive MPA Dashboard and how we can meet the ocean protection targets in our 2021 Ocean Report.
Join the movement to protect 30% of land and ocean in Canada by 2030.
Canada has the longest coastline in the world, which spans the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as one of the largest ocean territories. Canada’s ocean is home to an incredibly diverse array of species – from great whales and sharks to deep-sea corals and sponges. It is, however, under extreme pressure from industrial activities like oil and gas development, mining, dumping, commercial shipping and bottom trawling. Canada’s marine ecosystems are also being impacted by climate change.
Marine Protected Areas can provide safe spaces in which marine ecosystems can recover, thrive and adapt to a changing climate. MPAs can also protect culturally important features, such as Indigenous clam gardens, and allow marine ecosystems to help mitigate the impacts of climate change through carbon storage. In addition, MPAs support sustainable fisheries and provide new, long-term economic opportunities. The most effective MPAs have strong protections and are part of a network that allows species to move between protected areas.
Currently, around 13% of Canada’s ocean is being counted towards the country’s Marine Protected Areas and Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs). Canada has committed to protecting 25% of its ocean by 2025, working towards 30% by 2030, and CPAWS is calling on Canada to protect at least 50% of its ocean. These targets are essential for the long-term resilience of the planet. We are working with Indigenous governments and partners to ensure that Canada’s MPAs are protected and managed effectively.
What CPAWS is Doing
CPAWS has been advocating for Marine Protected Areas in Canada for more than 20 years. Our mission for Canada’s ocean is simple: more MPAs, better MPAs and MPAs in the right places.