/ ©: Tim Irvin / WWF-Canada

About The Great Bear Sea

Canada's gift to the earth

In this extraordinary region, Canada has the opportunity to set a global gold standard for ocean management. We can choose a future that works for nature and for people. And we are not starting from scratch. We are building on a strong legacy of smart, multi-use planning.

Two decades ago, almost every valley of the Great Bear Rainforest was slated for clear cutting. After 15 years of conflict and negotiation, a group of unlikely allies came to a solution. First Nations, forest companies, environmental organizations, and governments created a world-leading model of ecosystem management for the region. By combining conservation with better logging practices, they found a way to protect the environment and the economy. In 2007, WWF celebrated this achievement with our prestigious Gift to the Earth award.

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© Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada © Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada © Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada © Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada © Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada © Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada © Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada © Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada © Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada © Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada © Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada © Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada © Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada
But the work is far from finished. These coastal ecosystems are completely interconnected. The health of the rainforest absolutely depends on the health of the sea, and the annual salmon run that brings a rush of nutrients back from the sea to the forest. And the health of families, communities and the economy depends on thriving forests, coastlines, and sea. In the Great Bear region, Canada now has the opportunity once again to lead the world. It’s time to take our best thinking into safeguarding the Great Bear Sea.

 / ©: Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada
Grizzly and cubs in Great Bear estuary
© Andrew S. Wright / WWf-Canada

This is no place for oil tankers

In 2009, First Nations, businesses, governments, conservation groups and coastal communities came together again, this time to begin work on a conservation and management plan for the Great Bear Sea. Yet as they work to secure the future of this extraordinary place, we now face the threat of losing it all.

The Northern Gateway Project proposes to build an oil pipeline from the Alberta tar sands through the Great Bear. The 1,170-kilometre route would bisect the rainforest. It would transport toxic oil sands bitumen across hundreds of salmon streams. The pipeline would bring as many as 220 supersized oil tankers into B.C’s sensitive coastal waters every year.

This massive industrialization threatens the very heart of the Great Bear. It could damage or destroy the cultural, ecological, and economic values this region offers and it’s a big step back from the hard work done to manage and safeguard this global treasure.







Canada's Great Bear Region - Land & Sea