Delta Feud

Caitlyn AnhornBlog, Education, Featured, SRD blog

In June 2021, the CPAWS-SK team noticed that the CPAWS-Northern Alberta team was claiming that the largest inland freshwater delta in the world was in their province: The Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD).

This came as a surprise to us at CPAWS-SK, since we claim that the Saskatchewan River Delta (SRD) is the largest inland freshwater delta in North America. We contacted CPAWS-NAB as we realized something fishy was going on…

CPAWS-NAB realized that their information on the size of the delta was outdated. However, they still wanted to prove to us that their delta was more spectacular.

This lead to a friendly feud on Twitter, both teams trying to prove which delta, between the Saskatchewan River Delta and the Peace-Athabasca Delta, is superior (although, they both are amazing ecosystems).

The Peace-Athabasca Delta’s first claim to fame was its status as a global significant World Heritage Site… something the SRD, unfortunately, does not have.

Here at CPAWS-SK, we wanted to reinstate just how large the SRD actually is compared to the PAD. At nearly 970,586 hectares, the Saskatchewan River Delta is nearly three times the size of the Peace-Athabasca Delta!

So CPAWS-NAB came back with a jab about their TWO Ramsar designations. This hit a soft spot for us at CPAWS-SK, since we have been working hard with partners to get the SRD a designated Ramsar site for some time now.

CPAWS-SK fans enjoyed this next meme. I mean… how can you beat carbon storage that huge?? The carbon that is stored in the SRD matters to all of us on a global scale by safeguarding us from climate change and creating diverse habitats.

CPAWS-NAB retorted with a strong argument regarding the PAD providing habitat for the ONLY wild migratory flock of whooping cranes – helping them come back from the edge of extinction. Now that is impressive and hard to argue with!

CPAWS-SK highlighted the presence of tailing ponds in Alberta, which represent a threat to migratory birds. Yikes!

CPAWS-NAB reminded us that the Saskatchewan River Delta is also negatively impacted by dams. We are in the same boat here!

Listen to the locals! CPAWS-SK is proud to work with community members that live near the delta. Their knowledge is key!

Listen to the local… beavers?

CPAWS-SK made a comeback by stating that their delta had something the Peace-Athabasca Delta didn’t – alvars. Alvars are extremely rare ecosystems, that are only found in five countries in the world. They host a number of rare plant species.

Did CPAWS-NAB put enough emphasis on the presence of birds in the delta area?

CPAWS-SK let CPAWS-NAB know they were not that special, our delta is part of major waterfowl migratory routes too!

What do we have here? It looks like the two chapters are starting to get along!

Don’t they look alike!?

Oh, some suspense here! What could this big news be??

Talk about a mic drop… Wow, this is really something to celebrate! 

We can’t wait to see what’s up next!

In the end, we came to the conclusion that both deltas have significant ecological and cultural value and they must be protected. Kecia and Gord, CPAWS-NAB and CPAWS-SK Executive Directors, even had a drink, alongside cheers to the deltas. Nothing wrong with a little friendly feud! 

Saskatchewan River Delta
Cumberland House Cree Nation Declaration
Peace-Athabasca Delta