National Treasure #84: National Marine Conservation Areas

In January 2015, en route from Myrtle Beach to Phoenix, we visited St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. I was charmed by it and wrote charmingly about it.

Salt marsh with water channels and low vegetation stretching to distance

View of salt marshes at St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge

I was also impressed with what I was beginning to apprehend as a concerted effort by the Government of the United States to protect coastal habitat, and wondered why Canada had no such similar program.

In 2011 and then again in February 2016 (this time while wintering in Myrtle Beach SC), I visited Bull(s) Island, part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. I was charmed by it and posted charming photos of it.

Driftwood on sandy beach.

Boneyard Beach, Bull(s) Island, SC

I was also amused by the naturalist’s story about the number of born-and-bred South Carolinian seniors he’d met who admitted to not having known about the Refuge before they stumbled across it on a staycation.

It is, therefore, with some embarrassment that I present today’s national treasure – Canada’s national marine conservation areas – and acknowledge that I had never heard of them until I started poking around on Parks Canada website for National Treasure #82.

Like the national parks and national historic sites, there is a system plan and a focus on protecting portions of representative areas; in this case, four such areas: Arctic, Pacific, Great Lakes, and Atlantic.

So far, there are two national marine conservation areas:

Two more are in the planning stages:

In my view, these are both worthy initiatives, but could use snappier names.


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2 Responses to National Treasure #84: National Marine Conservation Areas

  1. Laurna Tallman says:

    Your stunning photo of Boneyard Beach gives the impression that those bones are going to rise again with stories to tell. Iconic. Lawren Harris could not have painted this scene more charmingly.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Many thanks. It’s a marvelous place, made more so by not being inundated by hordes of people.

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