Nastapoka River

An incontestable sanctuary of biodiversity, the Nastapoka River is also essential to the Inuit of the community of Umiujaq and the Kativik regional government. The river is very popular with canoeists, whose journey to the mouth of the Nastapoka ends at a spectacular thirty-metre waterfall.

What a source of pride this river is for Québec! And what a relief to know that it is finally protected!

Situated near Hudson Bay, this exceptional river was included within the territory of Parc national Tursujuq in December 2012.

Unique fauna

It is one of the rare lakes in the world to be home to freshwater seals. The lakes at the headwaters of the Nastapoka are the ONLY ones in the world where one can find harbour seals living exclusively in fresh water. This seal colony is made up of fewer than 100 individuals.

The river’s estuary is one of the two main gathering sites of beluga whales in eastern Hudson Bay, a population officially designated as at risk. The lower reaches of the river are home to the only salmon population on the entire east coast of Hudson Bay, a unique population that does not migrate to the ocean.

CPAWS’s work

CPAWS has long supported the will of the Inuit to protect the Nastapoka River. We participated in numerous public consultations on the creation of Tursujuq Park and the status of the freshwater harbour seal. We also promoted protection of the Nastapoka through a major public awareness-raising campaign in which citizens sent over a thousand letters to the government. Our efforts have paid off and this irreplaceable natural heritage site is now protected.