Oceans North Canada

The Arctic harbours one of the world’s least disturbed marine ecosystems, plays a crucial role in moderating the planet’s climate and is home to spectacular wildlife, fish and marine mammal populations. The biological riches of the Arctic provide physical and spiritual sustenance for indigenous peoples who have vibrant communities in the north.

The Arctic and its people now face enormous challenges. Climate change is melting polar ice that contributes to climate stability, regulates ocean currents and is the foundation of the Arctic’s biological richness. The warming ocean is altering the Arctic marine ecosystem in ways never before witnessed by humans. At the same time, the disappearance of ice is beginning to provide unprecedented access for industrial development.

The Arctic is vitally important to Canada, making up 68 percent of its coastline and playing a central role in its identity as a northern country. Canada’s north stretches 165,000 kilometres (99,000 miles) from Baffin Island in the east, across the high Arctic archipelago to the MacKenzie River delta and the Yukon in the west. 

The Arctic is ever-present in Canadian culture. Every student sings about “the True North Strong and Free” in the National Anthem, learns about the creation of Nunavut in 1999 and studies famous Arctic explorers like Alexander Mackenzie and Sir John Franklin. Canadians read the work of poets and writers who weave the North into the fabric of their writing such as Robert Service, Margaret Atwood, John Ralston Saul and Robertson Davies.

© Noor Johnson

Nunavut Quest 2010 Finish Line

Likewise, Canada is important to the Arctic. Inuit and government leaders from Canada have played pivotal roles in establishing international cooperation in the Arctic Council, negotiating a global treaty on contaminants and alerting the world to the effects of climate change.

As we face the challenges ahead of us, Canada and its people will play an influential role in building northern solutions and providing northern voices for sustaining life in the Arctic.

To this end, Oceans North Canada promotes science- and community-based conservation of Canada’s northern seas and the resulting well-being of indigenous residents who rely upon its natural wealth.

Our Work

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  • The Arctic Heritage and Beauty of Tallurutiup Tariunga (Lancaster Sound)

    Canada's Lancaster Sound, called Tallurutiup Tariunga in Inuktitut, is one of the Arctic Ocean’s richest marine habitats—an area of stunning natural beauty and deep cultural significance for Inuit who live there. Located at the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage, the sound’s abundant sea life has sustained Inuit communities for centuries. Through poetry set to spectacular... Read More

  • Visiting Hudson Bay's Nelson-Hayes Estuary

    The Nelson-Hayes is one of Manitoba’s three largest estuaries—along with the Seal and Churchill rivers—that together offer shelter to the world’s biggest summer beluga population. Pew’s Oceans North Canada project has been working for several years with industry and government partners to develop a habitat management plan that would make the whales’ use of... Read More

  • Monitoring the Floe Edge in Nunavut’s Eclipse Sound

    A research team from The Pew Charitable Trusts' Oceans North Canada project and the Institute of Marine Science at the Université du Québec à Rimouski mounted time-lapse camera stations on the remote coast of north Baffin Island to help monitor the environmental impact of an iron ore mine’s proposal for an extended shipping season through landfast ice in Eclipse Sound. Read More

Protecting Manitoba’s Beluga Estuaries


Media Contact

Ruth Teichroeb

Officer, Communications