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article imageCanada's Cliffs of Fundy, Bonavista Peninsula given UNESCO status

By Karen Graham     Jul 11, 2020 in Environment
Two sites in Atlantic Canada, the Cliffs of Fundy, and Bonavista Peninsula, have been recognized as new UNESCO Global Geoparks, a designation that recognizes sites and landscapes of international geological significance.
The “prestigious designation” was announced Friday, July 10, at a meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) executive board in Paris, France. The two Canadian sites were among 15 new Global Geoparks approved at the meeting, reports the Chronicle Herald.
"I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit these outstanding places," said Nikolaos Zouros, president of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network, who came to visit both sites last year from his home in Lesvos Island, Greece.
"We collect pieces of information about this unique book of the story of our planet. These do not belong only to the people of Canada but [are] an important piece of evidence for the whole of humanity."
Trinity  Bonavista Peninsula  Eastern Newfoundland  Canada. The visible landmarks are: on the left  ...
Trinity, Bonavista Peninsula, Eastern Newfoundland, Canada. The visible landmarks are: on the left, the St. Paul's Anglican Church (1892-94); in the centre, the Roman catholic Church of the Most Holy Trinity (1833); both were designated Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1989 and 2005 respectively.
A UNESCO Geopark is a unified area of international significance that advances the protection and use of geological heritage in a sustainable way and promotes the economic well-being of the people who live there. There are global geoparks and national geoparks.
The Cliffs of Fundy
According to CTV News Canada, the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark stretches 125 kilometers (78 miles), from Debert, N.S., to the Three Sisters cliffs past Eatonville, N.S. -- and out to Isle Haute in the Bay of Fundy.
"We have about 40 different geosites along that location. It's not a one-stop-shop. You can spend many days visiting our different sites," manager Beth Peterkin said. The Cliffs of Fundy and Fundy Bay are geologically interesting.
Researchers are testing the waters of the Bay of Fundy  New Brunswick  Canada  hoping to discover ca...
Researchers are testing the waters of the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada, hoping to discover cancer-fighting bacteria.
Michael Sprague (msprague)/
The bay lies in a rift valley called the Fundy Basin. It contains three sub-basins; the Fundy sub-basin, the Minas Basin, and the Chignecto Basin, and they all meet in the Bay of Fundy. As a part of the Eastern North America Rift Basins, the Bay of Fundy is subject to extremes of tides and tidal bores.
"We are the site where the Pangaea continent split apart 200 million years ago. You can see where the rocks split apart. You can see the different types of rocks. You can see the cliffs, and the clam flats, and the shores," Peterkin said.
"At low tide, you can walk out on the floor of the Bay of Fundy for a mile or more in many places, but watch the tide, because in six hours and 13 minutes it's going to be 50 feet higher up the shore," she said.
The rock surfaces  like many in this area  contain rare and exceptionally well preserved fossils fro...
The rock surfaces, like many in this area, contain rare and exceptionally well preserved fossils from the Ediacaran Period (635 to about 541 million years ago).
Discovery UNESCO Geopark
Discovery UNESCO Geopark
The Discovery UNESCO Geopark is located on the upper half of the Bonavista Peninsula on the eastern coast of the island of Newfoundland,
The Geopark's territory is part of the ancestral homelands of the Indigenous People of the region. Historical and archaeological records document the now-extinct Beothuk People lived throughout the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland, particularly in areas surrounding Notre Dame Bay and Bonavista Bay.
Hopewell  New Brunswick
Hopewell, New Brunswick
The coastline and steep cliffs surrounding Cape Bonavista are spectacular examples of the North Atlantic Ocean’s wave action and erosive power. Unique shoreline features are due to the ancient sedimentary rocks’ composition and thousands of years of continuous coastal erosion.
John Norman, Discovery Geopark chairman, said: “Once again the Bonavista Peninsula has a reason to celebrate as we are highlighted on the international stage,” he said. “Becoming a UNESCO Global Geopark is a tremendous achievement – international recognition that is very prestigious and difficult to obtain. We salute the efforts of those who have worked relentlessly over the years to champion the nominations for the Cliffs of Fundy and Discovery, two remarkably beautiful sites."
More about Canada, Unesco, Geoparks, Bay of Fundy, Bonavista peninsula
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