New Brunswick is surrounded on 3 sides by water. What happens in the oceans can affect us here on land.
CPAWS defines marine protected areas (orr MPAs) as areas legally designated to provide long-term protection of marine ecosystems, processes, habitats and species including marine biodiversity, and which can contribute to the restoration and replenishment of resources for social, economic and cultural enrichment. In general terms, this means that the area, from the surface to the bottom, is protected from some activities which may have negative effects on the area.
At present, Canada has declared 8 MPAs and has another 8 under consideration. Information on these can be found at the website for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. In New Brunswick, we have the Musquash Estuary MPA declared, and Shediac Valley MPA proposed.
Rivers and oceans are as susceptible to damage from human activities as our land. Whether it is from pollution, overharvesting of fish or other sea-life, natural resource extraction and development, or climate change, the end result is the degradation of natural ecosystems and the possible extinction of species. Protecting marine areas is an important step in trying to preserve the biodiversity of our waters.
While Canada boasts one of the largest ocean territories in the world, less than 1% of it is protected through meaningful long-term conservation measures. The federal government made a commitment seven years ago to establish a network of marine protected areas by 2012. Since then, we’ve lost too much time to get a full network in place, but Canada CAN make progress by creating at least 12 new marine protected areas!
We’re aiming for 12,000 people to endorse this message to the Federal Government to advance marine conservation through the establishment of 12 new marine protected areas by the end of 2012. Show your support for action for the "12 by 12" marine protected areas by signing online here.
MPA Quick Reference (2011) - A quick overview of the Science-based Guidelines for Marine Protected Areas and MPA Networks in Canada
MPA Guidelines (2011) - In a report commissioned by CPAWS, these science-based guidelines were developed to inform the design and implementation of effective networks of MPAs throughout Canada’s oceans.