Why Canada needs to be a global leader in the protection of fresh water

Black Bay, Lake Superior, ON (Photo by Costal Productions)

It’s a luxury to not think about water. Most Canadians watch it flow from the faucet and go down the drain without considering its source or destination. When we do think about water, it’s only about where the nearest tap is. Many...

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Get to know 10 of Canada’s most significant (and big!) natural areas

(Photo by iStock)

Large, intact natural areas are home to Canada’s most valuable ecosystems. These spaces are key to our quality of life. Canada’s forests, grasslands, wetlands and coastal areas absorb carbon dioxide, provide buffers for flooding,...

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Emerald city

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Whether you are hiding from the summer heat in an air-conditioned building or warming up by the fire on a blustery winter evening, you will surely agree that Canada’s climate is quite variable. From hot, dry summers to cold, snowy winters,...

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Is it time for Canada and the world to create carbon parks?

Black River Bog, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Parks and protected areas have been established across Canada to conserve many things we value. Banff National Park was originally established in 1885 to protect hot springs and breathtaking scenery for tourists. In 1893, Algonquin Provincial Park...

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The return of the swamp forest

Conservation Volunteers planting trees at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Robert Britton)

Imagine, if you will, an abandoned-looking farm in the southern Ontario countryside. You park your car and start walking into the back sections of it. After a while, you find yourself in a thickly grassed and soggy area with a tiny stream running...

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Wading through the wonders of wetlands

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Wetlands are dynamic places, where the land is, quite literally, wet. From day-to-day fluctuations, to seasonal changes, the amount of water in a wetland can change over time. As water levels shift, you might not know exactly what to expect when...

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Conservation needs a common language to describe Canada’s ecosystems

Tatlayoko Ranch, British Columbia, (Photo by Bernadette Mertens)

Tatlayoko Ranch, British Columbia, (Photo by Bernadette Mertens)

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” ~ Ancient Chinese proverb For organisms, we use the concept of a “species” to assign proper names. Having standard names for species is critical in both...

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Call of the Wetland

Volunteers search the wetland shoreline for amphibians. (Photo by Melanie Rathburn)

Have you ever heard frogs or toads calling in an urban environment? Or spotted a secretive salamander as it makes it way to an urban pond? If you live in Calgary, the Miistakis Institute is interested in your observations! With Miistakis’...

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Coasting along Canada’s habitats

Musquash Estuary, NB (Photo by NCC)

Musquash Estuary, NB (Photo by NCC)

Canada is a nation bordered by three oceans: Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic. In many ways, the habitats, local culture and economies are shaped by them. Often when those of us who don’t live near the shoreline think of oceans, we picture a...

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Turtles: Canada's culture in a shell

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, ON (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

It was a gloomy day in southern Ontario. Although the canoe I paddled in was quiet, the landscape — filled with croaks and chirping — was anything but. Ten feet away, a small creature emerged from the glass-like water to stretch its...

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