Government of Canada Invests in Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park

News release

Investments aim to support conservation efforts and modernize infrastructures

July 5, 2018                                 Tadoussac, Quebec                           Parks Canada Agency

Canada is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking coastlines that include precious ecosystems and rich biodiversity. The Government of Canada, through the Oceans Protection Plan, is committed to protecting our national parks and marines conservation areas, contributing to the recovery of species at risk, and providing opportunities for Canadians to discover and connect with nature.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced that the Government of Canada will invest more than $6 million in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park. The funding will help protect beluga whales and better serve visitors by modernizing infrastructure.

With the participation of community stakeholders, this funding will help develop measures that reduce the impact marine traffic has on marine mammals, especially the St. Lawrence beluga whale. Belugas are already benefiting from these conservation efforts thanks to the creation of a temporary exclusion zone in Sainte-Marguerite Bay, which is being used by females and their young throughout the summer.

This investment will also support meaningful experiences for Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park’s visitors. In Escoumins, infrastructure planned at the Marine Environment Discovery Centre will support the modernization of the visitor centre and the reconstruction of the outdoor amphitheatre. At the Pointe-Noire Interpretation and Observation Centre located in Baie-Sainte-Catherine, existing facilities will also be updated.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, Sépaq and Parks Canada are encouraging visitors to discover the natural and cultural wonder of this unique marine environment. And to make exploring easier for families, Parks Canada is offering free admission for youth aged 17 and under and new Canadians.

Earlier this year, following the largest consultation ever on Parks Canada, Minister McKenna put forward her priorities for the agency through the Minister’s Round Table report. The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is an excellent example of these priorities, where Parks Canada’s efforts are helping to protect and restore our natural spaces – while also enabling Canadians to discover and connect with nature. The Marine Park also helps sustain the local economy and tourism sector.

The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. Through this plan, the Government of Canada will create one of the best maritime security systems in the world which will immediately open up new economic opportunities for Canadians, while protecting our coasts and waterways for future generations. This work will be carried out in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.  


“Through targeted investments, the Government of Canada is helping to preserve the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park and the remarkable diversity of marine species found there. These investments will also help more Canadians discover and connect with Canada’s natural and cultural wonder. And to make this easier, we are offering free admission for youth and new Canadians to our national parks, historic sites, and marine protected areas.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“For the past 20 years, Sépaq and Parks Canada have been working hand in hand to protect and showcase the marine species of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. The newly improved beluga whale rest stop at Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay’s Baie Sainte-Marguerite sector will further enhance the experience of visiting beluga watchers. This exceptional show will certainly inspire them to become ambassadors for the protection of beluga whales.”

Jean D’Amour
Quebec Minister for Maritime Affairs and Minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent region

Quick facts

  • The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is managed jointly by the governments of Canada and Quebec, in collaboration with local stakeholders.

  • The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is entirely made up of water and stretches from Escoumins up to La Malbaie, and from Tadoussac up to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, in Saguenay. It covers three large ecosystems: the Saguenay Fjord and the Upper and Lower Estuary of the St. Lawrence.

  • The Marine Park is home to many species at risk including the iconic St. Lawrence beluga and the huge blue whale who comes to the park in the summer and fall. 

  • Started in 2015, renovation of the boat launch ramp as well as of the washroom facilities were completed. Last year, the road has been resurfaced at the Cap-de-Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre, and the entrance to the site was also redone. 

  • Parks Canada is investing an unprecedented $3 billion over 5 years to support infrastructure work to heritage, tourism, waterway, and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. 

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Caroline Thériault
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Valentyna Galadza-Park
External Relations Manager
Saguenay–St. Lawrence Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency

418-235-4703 ext. 240

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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