Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced Thursday (Oct. 2) that the federal government plans to protect the waters and seabed surrounding Gwaii Haanas national park-reserve.
According to a memorandum of understanding signed by Mr. Chretien and BC Premier Gordon Campbell, Canada will start consultations and planning work for the proposed Gwaii Haanas national marine conservation area reserve, as well as another proposed conservation area in the Strait of Georgia.
The Gwaii Haanas marine reserve will represent both the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Shelf marine regions. According to the federal government, the creation of the marine conservation area will make Gwaii Haanas one of the only places in the world to be protected from mountain tops to the sea floor.
Parks Canada will be developing an interim management plan for the area after consulting with local people and stakeholders. Ottawa also needs to reach an agreement with the Council of the Haida Nation regarding the area.
Gwaii Haanas communication consultation officer Marcia Morash said the children’s Haida dance group was set to travel to Vancouver to perform at Thursday’s signing ceremony, but the plane didn’t leave Sandspit due to heavy fog.
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