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

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death

Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive again on Oct. 21 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Search continues for bear wandering through Saanich

Bear spotted eating garbage near Elk Lake Wednesday, B.C. Conservation says

Some 30 people including a dozen youth participated in North Saanich’s first ever Fridays for Future protest outside of municipal hall on Mills Road Friday, according to organizers. (Anne-Marie Daniel/Submitted)
Fridays for Future plans second event for North Saanich after inaugural protest

Some 30 people attended first protest on Oct. 9 with a second one scheduled for Oct. 23

Royal Bay students are among the list of SD62 schools that will be trained by Pacific FC coaches and staff in a new soccer academy partnership. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Pacific FC partners with Sooke School District soccer academies

Royal Bay, EMCS and Dunsmuir Middle students to receive professional training

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Most Read