Don’t Pave Over Canada’s Essential Wetlands

Target: Mark Warawa, chair of the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development

Goal: Reroute proposed highway so as not to destroy Burns Bog, one of Canada’s most ecologically significant wetlands

The largest domed peat bog on the west coast of North America, Burns Bog plays an essential role in regulating Canada’s climate and absorbing carbon emissions from the air. This enormous wetland is currently home to an astounding variety of plants and animals, including more than 150 species of bird. Canadian environmentalists have imposed zoning codes on the bog to protect it from development, but current plans to build a highway straight through the essential wetland ignore all conservation covenants in place. The Canadian government must take action to honor the bog’s protected status and conserve it for generations to come.

Carrying out current construction plans for the South Fraser Perimeter Road would cause Burns Bog to be severely damaged, increasing Canada’s carbon footprint considerably. The plants that thrive in the South Delta wetland contribute greatly to climate regulation and greenhouse gas reduction. “Every time you scoop a bucket of peat out of the Bog, you are putting ten times more carbon into the atmosphere, than if you were scooping a bucket of sand off the beach,” said Eliza Olson, president of the Burns Bog Conservation Society. With global temperatures on the rise from excessive greenhouse gas emissions, the destruction of such a key ecosystem would be a reckless move for both North America and the entire planet.

A conservation covenant was established in 2004 to protect the bog from future development, but the Canadian government has so far ignored pleas to reroute the new road away from the bog. Demand that the chair of the House of Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development stand up for this essential environmental fixture now and for years to come.


Dear Mr. Warawa,

In 2004, the government of Canada signed a conservation covenant designed to protect Burns Bog, one of Canada’s largest wetlands, from future development. Now, that covenant is at risk of being violated entirely as plans develop for a new highway routed directly through the bog. But there’s still time to reroute the South Fraser Perimeter Road so its construction does not destroy the essential ecosystem of Burns Bog, the largest domed peat bog on the west coast of North America.

Burns Bog is a thriving and complex ecosystem that serves as a home to 24 species of mammal and more than 150 species of bird. What’s more, the bog acts as a major climate regulator and helps control atmospheric carbon levels. With global warming increasing at an alarming rate, it’s imperative that we not destroy our dwindling natural defenses against a worldwide climate crisis. I urge you to take swift action to ensure that Burns Bog stays intact now and for generations to come.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Derek K. Miller via Flickr.

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One Comment

  1. The largest domed peat bog on the west coast of North America. It is home to 24 mammal species, and 150 bird species. It also has cultural significance for the Halkomelem people, who used the area for the harvesting of salal berries and Labrador tea. Labrador tea had medicinal properties to it.

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