James Bay and southern Hudson Bay may be some of the most productive areas in the Canadian Arctic

Productive: a measure of how fast things grow and/or how abundant and lush they are.

James Bay and southern Hudson Bay may be some of the most productive areas in the Canadian Arctic

Wildlands League made a bold move in 2019 to help protect Canada’s ocean. With 50+ years of conservation expertise and 20+ years of deep relationships in the region, the timing was perfect to work with the Omushkego to protect ‘the Bay’. One of Wildlands’ specialties is connecting Canadians to nature and to special places that they may never get a chance to visit within their own country but are inspired to protect.

Wildlands League made a bold move in 2019 to help protect Canada’s ocean. With 50+ years of conservation expertise and 20+ years of deep relationships in the region, the timing was perfect to work with the Omushkego to protect ‘the Bay’. One of Wildlands’ specialties is connecting Canadians to nature and to special places that they may never get a chance to visit within their own country but are inspired to protect.

Click to hear the Cree word ‘Mushkegowuk’

The Mushkegowuk Council of Chiefs have chosen the tool of National Marine Conservation Area to ensure the protection of their marine territory in western James Bay and southern Hudson Bay. The Omushkego refer to James Bay as Weeneebayko and Hudson Bay as Gitchie-Weeneebayko in Cree. 

The initiative includes Moose Cree, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Attawapiskat, Taykwa Tagamou, Chapleau Cree, Missanabie Cree, Weenusk (Peawanuck) and Fort Severn First Nations. Wildlands League and Oceans North are working in partnership to support this Indigenous-led initiative.  

Click to hear the Cree word ‘Mushkegowuk’

The Mushkegowuk Council of Chiefs have chosen the tool of National Marine Conservation Area to ensure the protection of their marine territory in western James Bay and southern Hudson Bay. The Omushkego refer to James Bay as Weeneebayko and Hudson Bay as Gitchie-Weeneebayko in Cree. 

The initiative includes Moose Cree, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Attawapiskat, Taykwa Tagamou, Chapleau Cree, Missanabie Cree, Weenusk (Peawanuck) and Fort Severn First Nations. Wildlands League and Oceans North are working in partnership to support this Indigenous-led initiative.

James Bay’s seascape is distinct and found almost nowhere else in the Arctic. Many large and small rivers flow into these bays. Combined with its shallowness (<50 m or a 15-story building), the Bay is relatively warm and low in salinity, just the right conditions to support an explosion of life. Southern Hudson Bay and western James Bay are globally significantIt is home to:

An infographic shows an illustrated coastal marine landscape, with five text bubbles describing features unique to southern Hudson Bay and western James Bay. In the foreground we see a girl pointing to the sky, and nearby a red knot (rufus subspecies) has landed on a rock. Further in the distance we see a cross section of the water, with a beluga and various seaweed and seagrass. There is a boat with an adult and child fishing on the water, elsewhere there is an ice floe with a polar bear. In the distance, is a walrus on shore, a boreal tree line and a float plane in the sky. Bubble 1: Unique year-round subpopulation of belugas (greater than 10,000) in James Bay plus roughly 15,000 belugas in southern Hudson Bay. Bubble 2: Rich waters that support an abundance of marine life including iconic walruses, arctic fishes and more than 170 species of geese, ducks and shorebirds. Bubble 3: Most southern subpopulation of polar bears in the world. Bubble 4: Rich stores of carbon held in coastal eel grasses, kelp forests and sediments in the seafloor. Bubble 5: It may be one of the most productive areas in the arctic.
An infographic shows an illustrated coastal marine landscape, with five text bubbles describing features unique to southern Hudson Bay and western James Bay. In the foreground we see a girl pointing to the sky, and nearby a red knot (rufus subspecies) has landed on a rock. Further in the distance we see a cross section of the water, with a beluga and various seaweed and seagrass. There is a boat with an adult and child fishing on the water, elsewhere there is an ice floe with a polar bear. In the distance, is a walrus on shore, a boreal tree line and a float plane in the sky. Bubble 1: Unique year-round subpopulation of belugas (greater than 10,000) in James Bay plus roughly 15,000 belugas in southern Hudson Bay. Bubble 2: Rich waters that support an abundance of marine life including iconic walruses, arctic fishes and more than 170 species of geese, ducks and shorebirds. Bubble 3: Most southern subpopulation of polar bears in the world. Bubble 4: Rich stores of carbon held in coastal eel grasses, kelp forests and sediments in the seafloor. Bubble 5: It may be one of the most productive areas in the arctic.

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Who We Are

Wildlands League is one of Canada’s pre-eminent conservation organizations, collaborating with communities, governments, Indigenous Peoples, scientists and progressive industry to protect nature and find solutions that work for the planet and for all. We are a team of relentless policy experts, strategists and communications experts and have been working in the public interest since 1968, beginning with a campaign to protect Algonquin Park from development. Our vision is to protect at least half of Canada’s land, freshwater and ocean so that future generations can experience and benefit from Canada’s irreplaceable natural wonders and ecosystems.