Designated by UNESCO in 2004, the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve is an area of 347,000 hectares that stretches 200 km along the eastern coast from Port Severn to the French River, in the world’s largest freshwater archipelago, also known as the 30,000 Islands. The unique geography and geology of the area create more than 1,000 distinct habitat types which support a variety of rare species, including plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Visitors can explore a mosaic of open waters, sheltered bays, coastal wetlands, exposed bedrock shores, sand and cobble beaches, riparian vegetation and upland forests.
The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve model aims to integrate core protected areas (such as provincial and national parks), surrounding buffer areas (mostly Crown Lands) and an outer transition area of communities that support sustainable development. The biosphere reserve does not affect existing jurisdictions but creates a forum for cooperation and operates through community partnerships. With a mission to facilitate cooperative action in support of the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development through education and public outreach, we will foster a shared responsibility for the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve for the next seven generations.