Atlas of sites of conservation interest in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence coastal regions


Produced under the St. Lawrence Action Plan, the Atlas of sites of conservation interest in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence coastal regions presents sites where the conservation needs are most needed. Conservation targets (coarse filter) selected for this atlas are forested areas, inland wetlands, coastal marshes and sandy environments. Other sites representing local sites with high conservation value were also determined (fine filter), such as bird colonies, eelgrass beds, important wildlife and plant occurrences (e.g., critical habitats of species at risk, Harlequin Duck winter concentration sites, breeding and rearing habitat for Rainbow Smelt in the southern St. Lawrence Estuary, etc.) and salmon rivers. Our objective was to determine sites of interest up to a representativeness threshold of 20%, sites with high conservation interest were first selected, those sites being located within or adjacent to protected areas or exceptional forested ecosystems, sites hosting species at risk, sites bordering salmon rivers, or those having unique ecological features. A prioritization analysis was then carried out on conservation targets using a multi-criteria analysis when the 20% representativeness threshold was not reached following the selection analysis.

The geospatial data associated with these sites are publicly available. This will allow users to better visualize the geographical location of the sites of interest and the conservation value associated with each habitat patch of the conservation targets (forested areas, inland wetlands, coastal marshes, sandy environments) using geographic information systems (e.g., ArcGIS). Users will also have the opportunity to adapt the determination of sites of high conservation value given their own spatial territory and conservation objectives. Since conservation of natural environments and species at risk is a shared responsibility, this atlas will address the priorities of numerous organizations involved in the conservation of coastal environments, i.e., conservation organizations, municipalities and RCMs, government organizations and academic institutions.

View data in the BIODIVERSITY application.

Source identification:


Plan d'action Saint-Laurent. (2020). Atlas of sites of conservation interest in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence coastal regions (Version 1.0) [Data set]. Observatoire Global du Saint-Laurent.

Access and Use

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Data and Resources


Dataset extent

Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Metadata Reference Date(s) June 23, 2022 (Creation)
June 23, 2022 (Revision)
Dataset Reference Date(s) March 08, 2019 (Creation)
February 21, 2020 (Revision)
Frequency of Update As Needed

Responsible Party 1
Plan d'action Saint-Laurent
Responsible Party 2
Benoit Jobin
Environnement et changement climatique Canada / ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
Point of Contact

Field Value
Ocean Variables Other
Scope Dataset
Status Under Development
Spatial Extent { "coordinates": [ [ [ -56.4210206, 51.6793019 ], [ -71.219554, 51.6793019 ], [ -71.219554, 46.3725807 ], [ -56.4210206, 46.3725807 ], [ -56.4210206, 51.6793019 ] ] ], "type": "Polygon" }
North Bounding Latitude 51.6793019
South Bounding Latitude 46.3725807
East Bounding Longitude -56.4210206
West Bounding Longitude -71.219554
Temporal Extent
Default Locale French
Citation identifier
Code Space
Version 1.0