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Ernie Eves, Ontario's Premier, joined by Jerry Ouellette, Minister of Natural Resources, announced the Eves government is dedicating land and lakebed toward the creation of the world's largest freshwater reserve--the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area--which will increase protection over a vast corridor in northwestern Ontario.
"Today's important initiatives will preserve the spectacular beauty of the western Lake Superior coast and the wildlife habitats of the Nipigon Basin for present and future generations," said Eves. "All those who care deeply about the environment will welcome today's announcement. And those most affected - the people who live in the area - will enjoy lasting economic and environmental benefits."
The proposed Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area will extend from Thunder Cape, at the tip of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, to Bottle Point just east of Terrace Bay. It includes the waters of Black Bay and Nipigon Bay adjacent to Michigan's Isle Royale. Ontario's contribution to the national marine conservation area includes one million hectares of lakebed and 6,000 hectares of islands, shoals and mainland.
"By helping create the marine conservation area, we will be making a significant addition to what we have already accomplished under Ontario's Living Legacy and transforming the region into a must-see destination for ecotourists from around the world," said Ouellette. "Future generations will look back with gratitude on our efforts to protect this special area."
"This area represents one of the most spectacular freshwater coasts on earth, and the deepest, clearest open water found anywhere, "said Monte Hummel, President of World Wildlife Fund Canada. "This is a great day for woodland caribou, bald eagles, peregrine falcons and freshwater fish, as well as for the people who call Superior country home."
By linking Wabakimi Provincial Park and the Lake Nipigon Basin to the proposed Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, through newly regulated protected areas, Ontario has created a vast 'green' corridor covering approximately 2.4 million hectares. Also included in this total are a number of new and existing conservation reserves and provincial parks.