Canada's Ocean, Freshwater & US

Lake Superior
Approximate Area: 1,088,000 hectares
Date of Designation: 2007
Conservation Objectives

To protect Lake Superior’s biodiversity, including over 50 species of fish and rare arctic-alpine plants. Also, to protect its unique geology, such as terraced landscapes, and some of the world’s oldest known rocks.


Mining, as well as oil and gas exploration and extraction, are prohibited within the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.

Why (environmental context for protection)

The Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area is the largest freshwater protected area in the world, covering more than 10,000 square kilometres. It exists to protect the natural resources of Lake Superior, from fish such as the unique “coaster” brook trout to its one-of-a-kind landscapes. The Anishinaabe people of this region called the place gichigamiing or “The Big Lake.” Archeological evidence indicates that people have inhabited the area for over 9,500 years. The park is open for kayaking, swimming, and hiking, among other activities, so that visitors can experience its distinctive natural beauty.