The Silver Islet Loop
Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area
By Marlene McBrien
William J Lewis, author of Interpreting Our Heritage, says people learn best from hands-on experiences. Visitor Experience staff at Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) agree. We are eager to offer interactive on-water experiences to get visitors into the marine conservation area, and plan to offer the first of such programs in 2024.
Interpreting national marine conservation areas for Parks Canada means creating memorable experiences to ensure lasting support for the conservation of the site’s spaces and species.
Parks Canada has been committed to interpreting this 10,000 km2 water-based site for over a decade. As most visitors will only see Lake Superior from land, helping them understand the biological, cultural, and geological stories from a marine lens is challenging.
The Silver Islet Loop program, with paddles in hand, will launch from the beautiful town of Silver Islet, highlighting how this place has held different values for different people at different times. Canadians and international visitors will become part of an iconic visitor experience, gaining a new appreciation for the place.
As a Parks Canada guide ignites a genuine appreciation for how valuable this place is to people past and present, it is equally as important to impart how Lake Superior NMCA helps protect the natural and cultural resources that draw people here.
“See the Trowbridge Island Lighthouse over there, the Sea Lion rock arch just ahead, and look at what was once the most productive Silver Mine in the world” - as the group floats effortlessly overtop of the flooded mineshaft. “Look down….”
Offering rich, meaningful on-water experiences, like the Silver Islet Loop, for visitors to the Lake Superior NMCA, will provide another way to access the big lake, and help Parks Canada raise awareness of this and other National Marine Conservation Areas.
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