• Lancaster Sound map

    Two visions for the proposed Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area. (Map: Chris Brackley/Can Geo)

It was a seemingly unlikely alliance.

On June 8, 2016, global energy giant Shell, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, WWF Canada and the federal ministers for fisheries, the environment and Indigenous Affairs announced that the former was donating 30 contested energy exploration permits in Nunavut’s Lancaster Sound to the NCC. That organization was in turn handing the permits back to the feds, making way for the creation of the proposed Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area.

That protected area is still undergoing a federal feasibility assessment; however, the January/February issue of Canadian Geographic included a feature story on the sound and the behind-the-scenes negotiations that lead to resolving the permit impasse that had been a stumbling block.

Can Geo’s cartographer Chris Brackley created the map above detailing the area and the proposed sanctuary’s boundaries. A year after the milestone announcement, the proposed Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area continues to stand as a potential landmark addition to Canada’s scant marine protected regions.