A great part about this weekend’s EPIC Expo was the diversity of exhibitors. From office products, to fair trade coffee, electric scooters, and bamboo underpants, EPIC pretty much lived up to its name. I really appreciated the Parks Canada display and DaveO had a chat with Coral over on the happy frog podcast. I stopped by briefly and noticed a large display featuring the Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill.
The Parks Canada representative gave me some information about the National Marine Conservation Areas of Canada.
National Marine Conservation Areas, or NMCA for short, are marine areas managed for sustainable use and containing smaller zones of high protection. They include the seabed, the water above it and any species which occur there. They may also take in wetlands, estuaries, islands and other coastal lands.
Although they only currently exist in Ontario and Quebec, they are working toward incorporating two sections of BC coastal waters. The first in the southern Strait of Georgia and possibly another up north. However, determining a NMCA is a long process filled with feasibility studies and much-needed input from the population. The studies are expected to be completed sometime in 2008, which will allow the governments of the region to decide whether a NMCA would be practical and desirable.
The Strait of Georgia marine region is the smallest of five marine regions found on Canada’s Pacific coast, yet it is also one of the most productive. It includes a wide diversity of seascapes ranging from the fjords of Desolation Sound to the broad mudflats of Boundary Bay, and from the cloudy sediment plumes flowing from the Fraser River to the clear waters among the southern Gulf Islands. [Parks Canada]
The second proposal for BC is the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. The 1470 square km area (part of The Queen Charlotte Islands) was made a BC Provincial Park in 1958 and a National Park in 1988.
The boundary between earth and ocean exists only on a map and the cycle of life in the diverse marine ecosystems of Gwaii Haanas encircles land and sea. Once the NMCAR is established, nearly five thousand kilometres of Gwaii Haanas will be protected. This will be one of the only places in the world where a representative area is protected from mountain top to the great ocean depths. [Parks Canada]
It’s pretty amazing what you can learn when you stop to talk to the good folks who make appearances at these exhibitions. Sure, the Parks Canada booth didn’t have free samples of coffee, wine, organic beer or vodka, but it was truly something I was interested in and I learned a lot just by stopping in for those few minutes.
As a bit of a post-mortem since the EPIC Expo is now over, a huge thanks to happy frog (and our crew-chief DaveO) for having us on their team this weekend. They were the official social media sponsors of EPIC and I think we successfully generated a lot of buzz, not only for happy frog but for all the featured businesses and products we got to explore. You can check out all the content we churned out this weekend over on the frog blog.