By Rochelle Baker Local Journalism Initiative Reporter There’s much to celebrate in the proposed plan to create a string of marine protected areas stretching Canada’s West Coast from northern Vancouver Island to Alaska, experts say. But the lack of information on specific protection measures for the BC Northern Shelf MPA Network means the blueprint to preserve sensitive ocean ecosystems risks becoming a string of “paper parks,” legally designated areas that don’t actually have effective conservation or stewardship measures. Following more than a decade of work, 17 coastal First Nations and the Canadian and B.C. governments have created a network draft plan to protect and link biodiversity hot spots and areas of cultural importance inside the 100,000-square-kilometre stretch of ocean. The network is expected to cover 30 per cent of the
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