James Bay Facts

James Bay Facts
James Bay is located at Hudson Bay's southern end in Canada, bordering the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans indigenous Cree people had lived on its shores since the end of the last ice age, over 8,000 years ago. Henry Hudson arrived in 1610 aboard his ship Discovery and his crew spent a winter at the southern tip of James Bay when the water froze over. In the spring the crew mutinied when Hudson wanted to continue to explore and nobody was every heard from again. Between 1630 and 1631 Welsh Captain Thomas James explored the area more thoroughly and the bay was named after him.
Interesting James Bay Facts:
James Bay was an important location for the expansion of the British into Canada and for the establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company, which still exists today.
The first fur trading post on James Bay was established by Captain Zachariah Gillam and Medard des Groseilliers, called Charles Fort.
The southern extent of the Arctic Archipelago Marine ecozone is considered to be James Bay.
A large area of the western shore of James Bay is considered to be the Polar Bear Provincial Park.
Polar bears target the ringed seals of James Bay for food.
There are several hundred rivers that flow into James Bay including the Harricana River, La Grande Riviere, Eastmain River, Rupert River, Nottaway River, Moose River, Albany River, and the Kesagami River.
Hannah Bay is James Bay's most southern tip. This bay has sand, mud, salt flats, marshes, swamps, freshwater swamps, and peatlands along its shorelines.
Despite sparse population along James Bay's shoreline there are at least nine communities.
Along the eastern shore of James Bay, in Quebec, there are four Cree communities including Chisasibi, Wemindji, Eastmain, and Waskaganish.
Along the western shore of James Bay are five communities. From north to south they are Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Mossonee, and Moose Factory.
The Canadian province of Quebec has been building hydroelectric dams on the rivers that feed into James Bay since 1971. These dams are capable of producing about half of the provinces power each year.
Rivers that flow into James Bay are popular with canoeists. These include the Albany River, Moose River, Missinaibi River, Broadback River, and the Rupert River.
Islands in James Bay are not considered part of Ontario or Quebec. They are included in Nunavut territory. The largest island in James Bay is Akimiski Island.
James Bay is 275 miles in length and 135 miles wide. On average the bay is under 200 feet in depth.
A project has been proposed to turn James Bay into a freshwater lake. The project is referred to as the Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal. This would involve building a dike to separate Hudson Bay from James Bay. The project is meant to create a freshwater source for people in the region, but it is highly unlikely that the project will ever be completed.
James Bay freezes over before Hudson Bay does each winter and also thaws first.


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