In the first ever joint assessment of progress on marine protected areas (MPAs) in North America, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and the Marine Conservation Institute (MCI) find Canada, Mexico and the USA have a long way to go to collectively and individually reach international and national targets to protect at least 10% of the continental ocean estate.*
The question we pose in this report is ‘how well do Canada’s marine protected areas actually protect ocean ecosystems from industrial activities?’ This seems like a fairly straightforward question, yet it turned out to be much more difficult to answer than we expected, and the information we uncovered is worrying.
The ocean supports a tremendous diversity of life from coastal areas to the deep sea, and contains 99% of the space available for life on Earth. From plankton to whales, marine species live in a delicate balance that can easily be disturbed by human activities, and cause a domino effect on species half-way around the world.
This issue of Canadian Wilderness commemorates what CPAWS has accomplished in its first half century. It profiles some of the leaders who have built our organization over those 50 years and some of the staff and volunteers who carry on that tradition today.
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