Canada's Ocean, Freshwater & US

Fathom Five
Kyle Noonan
Location: Coastal Atlantic Marine
Approximate Area: 11,350 hectares
Date of Designation: 1985
Conservation Objectives

To protect part of the freshwater ecosystem of Lake Huron, including fish, wetland birds, and amphibians and reptiles such as the threatened Massasauga rattlesnake. Also, to address the threat of invasive species in Lake Huron, such as the sea lamprey.


In some areas of the park, particularly those which are considered to have unique or fragile ecosystems, visits and resource extraction are prohibited.

Why (environmental context for protection)

Fathom Five was the first National Marine Park to be established in Canada, in 1987. It exists to protect much of the biodiversity found in Lake Huron, from fish and eels to birds and amphibians. Some species, such as the Massasauga rattlesnake or the eastern whip-poor-will, are threatened, and are targets of the park’s conservation efforts. Fathom Five is a popular destination for hikers and scuba divers. In addition to the park’s natural diversity, man-made attractions such as shipwrecks are popular. The Saugeen Ojibway Peoples have inhabited the area that is now Fathom Five National Marine Park for thousands of years.