Research areas

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The Saskatchewan River, Peace-Athabasca, and Slave River deltas are biologically diverse and complex systems of rivers, lakes, and wetlands. They support a range of fish, wildlife, bird, and plant species. The ecological changes in these deltas are often an indicator of issues arising in our river systems; if there are problems, people in the delta are often the first to notice. These deltas continue to play an important role in supporting traditional, subsistence, and cultural activities of the Aboriginal peoples who have occupied these regions since time immemorial. Historically, inland deltas were also a central part of the fur trade industry. 

Saskatchewan River Delta 

  • Straddles the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border

  • Covers roughly 9.500 km2

  • The upper delta is largely made up of the Cumberland Marshes 

  • Designated a Canadian Important Bird Area


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Peace-Athabasca Delta

  • Located in northern Alberta

  • Covers roughly 3,900 km

  • Part of the Mackenzie River Basin 

  • Designated a "Wetland of International Significance" under the Ramsar Convention due to its importance as a feeding, nesting, and resting area for waterbirds

  • The majority (80%) of the delta is in Wood Buffalo National Park 


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Slave River Delta

  • Located in southern Northwest Territories 

  • Covers roughly 8,300 km2

  • Part of the Great Slave sub-basin of the Mackenzie River 

  • The Slave River flows through Wood Buffalo National Park and into Great Slave Lake 


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