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Rich in nature and history, the marine park hosts an exceptional biodiversity. Explore this section and get to know the park and its riches.

MANDATE OF THE MARINE PARK

Recognizing the importance of protecting the environment, wildlife, plant life, and natural resources of a part of the Saguenay Fjord and St. Lawrence River estuary, the governments of Quebec and Canada created, together with public support, the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park. The Marine Park’s mission is to increase ecosystem protection levels for conservation purposes, for the benefit of present and future generations, while encouraging its use for educational, recreational and scientific purposes.

Activities in the Marine Park are regulated with a view to ensuring the sustainable use of this area and its resources. Regional stakeholders contribute to achieving the marine park’s objectives.

AN EXCEPTIONAL BIODIVERSITY

Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park protects a marine area where the diversity of fauna and flora is exceptional: from microscopic algae to the gigantic blue whale, more than 1,600 wild species have been observed. A real gigantic feeding ground, the park attracts whales, seals and sea birds that travel thousands of kilometers to feed. How can we explain this migration?

Oceanic conditions promote an abundance and concentration of prey in the marine park. It is a choice destination for migratory marine species and a suitable habitat for resident species such as the St. Laurence population of the beluga whale.

THE PARK THROUGH TIME

1988

Joint action by Quebec and Ottawa lays the groundwork for the St. Lawrence Action Plan. Target actions included the creation of a marine park at the confluence of the Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence River.

1990

Beginning of public consultations concerning the boundaries of the Saguenay Marine Park, which is tentatively set to cover 746 km2.

1992

Marine park boundaries are established to encompass an area of 1,245 km2. To reflect this reality, the marine park acquires its current name.

1998

Creation of the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park.

2010

Zoning proposal featuring comprehensive preservation zones over 3% of marine park territory.

2011

Founding of the Eco-Whale Alliance.

2012

The St. Lawrence population of the beluga whale counts only 889 individuals.

2014

The St. Lawrence population of the beluga whale is designated as an endangered species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSWIC).

COMMON
SPECIES

From microscopic algae to the gigantic blue whale, more than 1,600 wild species have been observed at the marine park. Discover the marine mammals that are seen most often.

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THE CONFLUENCE

The Confluence: Where waters meet and marine life emerges.

The confluence of the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Saguenay River, where the waters of the Great Lakes, the Saguenay basin and the Atlantic Ocean meet, is recognized as an ecologically exceptional region. The oceanographic conditions that occur at the confluence of the Saguenay encourage the emergence of life and the concentration of species at the bottom of the food chain.

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The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park

Ecosystems

Because of the hydrographic and oceanographic divisions, three ecosystems mark the boundaries of the Marine Park: the upper estuary, the lower estuary, and the Saguenay Fjord. Their physical and biological characteristics differ greatly and their boundaries are less well defined than on land due to the fluid nature of the marine environment.

A mosaic of habitats nevertheless exists, marked by variations in temperature, salinity, sea floor and depth. The ecosystems are closely linked, since the water and species move from one place to another.

Reliefs, currents and tides

Source of marine life

The Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park largely owes its existence to the diversity of its natural components. Slide the cursor over the image to explore the riches of the Park.

NATURE AND CULTURE

THE REGION’S HISTORY
IS INTIMATELY LINKED
WITH THE SEA

Today, the breathtaking nature found in and around the Saguenay
and St. Lawrence rivers attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
However, this is not new; this region and its nature
have attracted people to the area for a very long time.
Just like our tourism industry, our history is also closely related to the sea.

LIBRARY