Gulf of St. Lawrence Facts

Gulf of St. Lawrence Facts
The Gulf of St. Lawrence is a sea that is semi-enclosed, bordered by Quebec and the Labrador Peninsula to its north, Newfoundland and Saint-Pierre to the east, and Cape Breton Island and the Nova Scotia Peninsula to the south, and Quebec, New Brunswick, and the Gaspe Peninsula to the east. The Gulf of St. Lawrence is the Great Lakes of North America's outlet to the Atlantic Ocean, via the Saint Lawrence River. The Gulf of St. Lawrence is roughly 91,000 square miles in size and has an average depth of 486 feet. It contains an estimated 8,400 cubic meters of water. Canada contains 10 provinces and half of them border on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Interesting Gulf of St. Lawrence Facts:
It is believed that the Laurentian Channel on the floor of the Gulf of St. Lawrence was formed during the ice ages. The channel is approximately 950 feet deep.
The five Canadian provinces that border the Gulf of St. Lawrence include Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
The Gulf of St. Lawrence branches into several bays including the Bay of Islands, Bay St. George, St. George's Bay, Miramichi Bay, Fortune Bay, and Chaleur Bay.
Streams and rivers that empty into the Gulf of St. Lawrence include the Saint Lawrence River, Humber River, Margaree River, Restigouche River, Romaine River, Natashquan River, and Miramichi River.
The Gulf of St. Lawrence enters the Atlantic Ocean via the Strait of Canso, the Cabot Strait, and the Strait of Belle Isle.
First Nations people have used the Gulf of St. Lawrence throughout history for fishing and for transportation, dating back long before the arrival of Europeans.
Jacques Cartier was the first documented European explorer to reach the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in 1534.
Jacques Cartier named the Saint Lawrence River 'The Country of Canadas', derived from a First Nations word that meant 'village'.
About the same time that Jacques Cartier arrived in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the Basques also arrives to whale hunt. They also traded with the First Nations people.
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is responsible for draining more than one quarter of the world's fresh water, which includes the Great Lakes.
Commercial fishing has had a major impact on the fish stocks of the entire St. Lawrence water system. Some of the species most affected include salmon, herring, and sturgeon.
Concerns to both the Saint Lawrence River and the Gulf of St. Lawrence include untreated wastewater from cities, oil spills, development along waterways, pollution, boat spills, and invasive species such as zebra mussels.
At the northeast tip of Cape Breton Island, St. Paul Island is referred to as the 'Graveyard of the Gulf' because of the many shipwrecks that remain. The Canadian Coastguard controls access to the island.
There are national parks along the Gulf of St. Lawrence's shores, including Prince Edward Island National Park, Forillon National Park, Kouchibouguac National Park, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Gros Morne National Park, and the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.


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