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.
It is the largest inland Delta in North America, at 10,000 hectares, and prime habitat for diverse wildlife, including one of the continent’s most important regions for migratory birds. It is also part of Canada’s vast boreal forest, an ecosystem that stretches across the continent and has been called our planet's 'northern lungs'. Canada’s Boreal Forest stores about 71.4 billion tonnes of carbon in forest ecosystems and 136.7 billion tonnes in peatland ecosystems. In addition to these terrestrial carbon stores, the numerous lakes located in Canada’s Boreal Forest region account for a portion of the approximately 0.6 billion tonnes of carbon that are buried globally each year in inland water sediments. The 208.1 billion tonnes of carbon estimated to be stored by forest and peatland ecosystems within Canada’s Boreal Forest region is equivalent to 26 years worth of the world’s carbon emissions at 2006 levels.
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.
The Saskatchewan River Delta and surrounding region in eastern Saskatchewan is one of several priority planning areas for the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), which CPAWS Saskatchewan is a signatory of.
CPAWS Saskatchewan is working with local residents and the provincial to establish a protected area in the Suggi Lowlands/Mossy River Watershed. We currently have a formal proposal into government to create this protected area that was decided on after consultation with the community and work conducted by the CBFA's science team.
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