Get the facts about the Great Bear Sea: What’s at stake?

It’s a place often referred to as “Canada’s Amazon”.  The Great Bear Coast is truly one of the world’s most unique ecosystems, combining beauty, majesty, history, diversity and culture all in one.  It’s a place that one of the world’s largest remaining intact coastal temperate rainforests meets one of the world’s last clusters of large, undammed wild salmon rivers and most productive coldwater seas.  It’s one of the few places in the world that in one line of sight, you could see a Grizzly bear hiding behind a tree, a humpback whale swimming in the sea, and a great albatross soaring overhead.   It’s a place that First Nations communities have relied on for thousands of years, and still rely on today.  It is no place for oil pipelines or tankers.

Orange clouds and silhouettes of birds flying in the sunset over Matheson Channel, British Columbia, Canada © Tim Irvin / WWF-Canada
Orange clouds and silhouettes of birds flying in the sunset over Matheson Channel, British Columbia, Canada © Tim Irvin / WWF-Canada

The Northern Gateway Pipeline project proposes to build twin pipelines, 1,170 km long,  from Alberta to Kitimat, BC, bisecting the Great Bear region.  The proposed project threatens the very heart of the Great Bear, and the stakes are high!
What’s at stake?
The Region: The Great Bear region encompasses 32,000 sq. kilometers on the British Columbia Coast, between Vancouver Island and Southeast Alaska, and the archipelago of Haida Gwaii.  The Great Bear Sea borders the coast of the rainforest, and is fed by some of BC’s largest wild and free flowing rivers.
Marine Biodiversity:  The Great Bear Sea supports countless marine species, including whales, dolphins, porpoises, and all 5 species of wild Pacific salmon.  Salmon reflect the interconnectedness of the sea, wild rivers and land in the Great Bear Sea. Bears, wolves, birds and trees are ALL nourished by the salmon.
The Exceptonal Species:  The Pacific coast wolf and the rare Kermode Bear (also known as the Spirit Bear) are unique to this region and cannot be found living anywhere else in the world.  It is also home to one of Canada’s most vital Grizzly Bear populations.
A Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) fishing for salmon surrounded by flying gulls, in the Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada © Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada
A Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) fishing for salmon surrounded by flying gulls, in the Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada © Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada

The Great Bear coast is no place for oil pipelines or tankers.  In November, WWF and Coastal First Nations will ask you to show your support for protecting the future of this important region.  You can help now by learning more about this issue, engaging your friends and family, and sharing the message far and wide across your network.
Visit wwf.ca/greatbear to learn more about the Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal and what is at stake in the Great Bear coast.