Saskatchewan River Delta

The Saskatchewan River Delta has significant ecological and cultural significance and needs protecting

After flowing 1,200 kilometres from Canada’s Rocky Mountains, collecting runoff from the Prairies and Boreal Plains, the Saskatchewan River spills into a maze of channels that cut across the low-lying forests and wetlands of the Saskatchewan River Delta. One of the largest inland deltas in North America, and one of the most biologically rich landscapes in Canada, the Saskatchewan River Delta is a 10,000 km2 network of waterways, wetlands and low-lying forests, and an internationally recognized “Important Bird Area”. The land and waters of the Delta provide habitat for millions of waterfowl and other migratory birds, including white pelicans, while the area’s forests sustain lynx, wolf, black bear, moose, and elk. The Delta’s ecosystems store billions of tonnes of carbon in a vast peatland and boreal forest ecosystem, acting as a critical natural storehouse for carbon and a buffer against climate change. The Delta is the traditional territory of the Cumberland House Cree Nation and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation who continue to rely on its rich ecosystems for sustenance and economic opportunities offered by hunting, fishing and ecotourism

The threat

The Saskatchewan River Delta (SRD) is largely impacted by two large hydroelectric power dams located upstream which affect water levels and nutrient flows into the delta. In addition, peat extraction now poses a threat to undisturbed wetland areas.

What CPAWS is doing

For several years, CPAWS has been working with Cumberland House and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nations, as well as Weyerhauser Forest Products and the Saskatchewan government, to identify a large protected area in the Suggi Lowlands/Mossy River Watershed at the heart of the Delta to help safeguard this remarkable place. An almost 4000 km2 area of interest has been identified and is now being considered for permanent protection. This would not only help deliver on Saskatchewan’s protected areas commitment, but also on its responsibilities to protect critical boreal caribou habitat and to contribute to Canada’s pan Canadian climate change plan.

Take Action

Support CPAWS SK's Efforts to Protect the Saskatchewan River Delta
Support CPAWS SK's Efforts to Protect the Saskatchewan River Delta
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