Canada is the world’s 2nd largest country at around 10 million km2 3,861,022 mi2 in size.
There are 10 Provinces, two of which do not have any coastline on any ocean, and three territories, which are primarily North of 60º latitude and account for 40% of Canada’s land mass.
Canada has borders with the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and has the longest coastline in the world at 243,793 km (151,486 mi) long and is home to 25% of the world’s wetlands. (15 to 25% of the prairies are considered wetlands.) About 8.9% of Canada’s area is also covered by water. Canada is rich in environmental beauty and wildlife, home to over 70,000 plant and animal species and contains 10% of the world’s forests.
It is also home to The Great Lakes which shares its borders with the US. These lakes form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, containing 21% of the world’s surface fresh water by volume. Due to their sea-like characteristics (rolling waves, sustained winds, strong currents, great depths and distant horizons) the five Great Lakes have also long been referred to as inland oceans.
Aside from 230 species of fish, Canada’s marine wildlife includes over 20 type of Whale including: Beluga, Fin, Humpback, Sperm, Killer and finned Pilot Whales. There are varieties of Dolphins, Harbour Porpoise, Seals, Sea Lions, Walrus, Polar Bears and Turtles making the oceans around Canada rich and diverse and why it is crucial Canadian waters are healthy. Per the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, (NOAA) nearly 100,000 marine mammals have garbage-related deaths each year
It is estimated that over 2.86-billion plastic bags are used annually in Canada – 200 for every one of us.
It has been suggested there could be at least half-a-million pieces of plastic per square kilometre in some parts of the Great Lakes, equivalent to 2,500 pieces of plastic per area the size of a football field.
The Canadian Steller Sea Lion populations have declined by 80 per cent over the past three decades leading to their classification as a species of Special Concern in Canada, with entanglement to debris – particularly plastic packing bands as the main threat.
The St. Lawrence estuary population of Beluga Whales are listed as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and researchers have found synthetic polymer fibres and plastic pellets in the digestive tracts of fish in Lake Erie, part of the Great Lakes.