Photos by Julia Pelish
Vacay.ca Visuals Editor
Earth Day and Canada go hand in hand.
After all, it is the world’s second-largest country, with 9.9 million square kilometres (3.8 million square miles) of space. Only Russia at 17 million square kilometres (6.6 million square miles) has more land area than Canada. But the land is only one part of Earth Day. Water is what sustains the planet and, increasingly, it is what’s most vital about Canada. In fact, if you only counted the land area in Canada — and excluded the lakes, rivers and bays of the nation — it would rank only as the world’s fourth-largest country.
Canada has more than 3 million lakes, accounting for more lakes than the rest of the world’s nations combined. While most lakes are small, the Atlas of Canada lists 31,752 lakes that are larger than three square kilometres. That’s important because the lakes are a source of fresh water, a commodity that becomes scarcer and scarcer by the day.
Accounting for about one-quarter of the world’s fresh-water supply, Canada has more fresh water than any other country. Canada also has more coastline than any other nation. Its 90,852 kilometres (56,453 miles) of shoreline stretches along the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. When you consider that the land is classified into 15 terrestrial and five aquatic ecozones encompassing islands, mountains, prairies and rain forests, Canada’s geography is almost as diverse as its 35 million citizens, and it’s our waters that connect and strengthen us.
So Canadians have to remind ourselves that we are the stewards to a vast treasure trove of the world’s most vital natural resource. Earth Day 2014 provides an opportunity to create a pact that encourages tenderness toward this ginormous gift. By doing our part, not only will we preserve and enjoy Canada and its waters for ourselves, but our global friends will continue to arrive, marvelling at our luck. This nation is one of the greatest places on earth. Let’s show we mean to keep it that way!
Enjoy these photos spotlighting watery scenes from across the nation.
Happy Earth Day!