Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area Parks Canada’s Gift to the Earth award

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Thunder Bay, Ontario, May 19, 2011 –The significant progress towards the creation of the Lake Gift to the Earth awardSuperior National Marine Conservation Area has been credited by WWF International as one of the key reasons for presenting their prestigious Gift to the Earth award to Parks Canada. WWF-International credits Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area for Parks Canada’s Gift to the Earth award

“Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area is honoured to be recognized as one of the reasons Parks Canada was presented this award”, said Mike Walton, Parks Canada Superintendent for Northern Ontario. “This recognition will help promote greater international awareness of this protected portion of the world’s largest freshwater lake”.

WWF’s Gift to the Earth Award recognizes Parks Canada’s conservation leadership and globally outstanding track record in creating new protected areas, and in embracing precedent-setting Aboriginal collaboration, targeting terrestrial, marine and freshwater realms, and reintroducing endangered species.

“This international award by the WWF recognizes the fantastic accomplishments we have all made in conservation. It’s an incredible honour for Parks Canada, the Government of Canada, and all Canadians,” said Minister Kent. “Our world-class national parks system and national marine conservation areas are one of Canada’s great gifts to the world. I’m proud to share this legacy with all Canadians and am reassured that future generations will have the opportunity to develop meaningful connections to our country’s treasured places.”

The creation of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area ensures the protection and presentation of a representative example of the greatest of the Great Lakes, and contributes to the understanding and appreciation of Canada’s natural and cultural marine heritage. This portion of the world’s largest freshwater lake was chosen because of its many rich cultural, historical and natural features and the stories they tell. Parks Canada continues to work with First Nations, partners, stakeholders and other government departments to ensure this part of Lake Superior is protected for the people of Canada and the world, now and in the future.

Gifts to the Earth are recognized by WWF-International, highlighting outstanding demonstrations of environmental leadership and globally significant contributions to the protection of the living world.

The Gift to the Earth award also recognizes Parks Canada’s leadership in the area of ecosystem restoration and the reintroduction of species at risk. Some of our most notable achievements include the restoration of the Garry Oak ecosystems in British Columbia, expanding the population of the Blanding’s turtle in Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia, as well as reintroducing the plains bison and black-footed ferret to Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca

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