The glass sponge reef in Chatham Sound is thought to be one of the oldest in the world. Until the reef in Hecate Strait was discovered in 1987, scientists believed glass sponge reefs were extinct. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, University of Alberta and Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility)

Glass sponge reef recommended as World Heritage Site

The Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs are among eight nominated sites

Some B.C. landmarks are being added to the list of potential UNESCO world heritage sites.

On Dec. 20, Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the addition of eight new sites to Canada’s Tentative List for World Heritage Sites.

Among those sites added to the list are the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs — located off the coast of British Columbia.

READ MORE: Reef discovery goes unnoticed

The glass sponge reefs were discovered in 1987 off the coast of British Columbia after being thought to have gone extinct 40 million years ago.

At 1,000 square km, the reef is unique since no other glass sponge of this size has been located anywhere else in the world. In 2017, the Canadian government designated the reefs as a marine protected area to safeguard them as they are an important deep-seas habitat and are vital to geological, paleontological and biological research.

READ MORE: Protecting rare ancient glass sponge reefs

Also included on the list are Stein Valley in British Columbia, Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatchewan, Anticosti Island in Quebec, Heart’s Content Cable Station Provincial Historic Site in Newfoundland and Labrador, Qajartalik in Nunavut, Sirmilik National Park and the proposed Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area in Nunavut and the Yukon Ice Patches in the Yukon.

This is the first time the tentative list has been updated since 2004. Forty-two applications for new sites were received from across the country during the public process to find candidates for the updated list.

They were then reviewed by an independent ministerial advisory committee of Canadian experts in the fields of natural and cultural heritage.

The Advisory Committee then recommended to the Minister McKenna the addition to the tentative list of those candidates with the strongest potential for successful designation as World Heritage Sites.



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Help keep customer service workers safe

Remember that people asking you to respect health guidelines are still people, says retail worker

Paul Manly reacts to Liberal throne speech

Manly says the Liberals need to back up their promises with action

Best of the City: Greek taverna takes top spot

Asteras in the Old City Quarter chosen Nanaimo’s Best Restaurant Overall

Best of the City: Making a house a home

Dodd’s Furniture, voted Best Furniture Store, settles into new location in Nanaimo

MLA in a pandemic, Nanaimo’s Malcolmson looking to be part of B.C.’s recovery

Sheila Malcolmson running for re-election in Nanaimo riding

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Best of the City: This year’s winners

Nanaimo News Bulletin presents full results of our 2020 Best of the City readers’ survey

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Snuneymuxw artist brings aquatic designs to Nanaimo’s Beban Park pool

Work by artist Eliot White-Hill is being installed at the pool this month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read