A Forest of Blue
Pew Charitable Trusts | MARCH 2011
Seen from a plane, Canada’s Boreal Forest shimmers in endless shades of blue from the lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands that stretch across the horizon. The boreal is the largest source of surface fresh water on Earth, and these waters nourish a continent-wide landscape of plants, animals and communities.
The report A Forest of Blue, released by the Pew Charitable Trusts, shines a spotlight on the vast water resources in Canada's Boreal Forest. The region contains a quarter of the world's wetlands, and boreal wetlands store an estimated 147 billion tonnes of carbon, more than 25 years worth of global carbon emissions. The delta of the Mackenzie River alone stores 41 billion tonnes of carbon.
Canada’s boreal also holds the largest concentration of lakes in the world, including many of the biggest and most pristine on the planet. Its undammed rivers serve as last refuges for many of the world's sea-run migratory fish, and its many waterways support billions of migrating birds and waterfowl.