Exploring the Hudson Bay Lowlands – by Chris Brackley (Canadian Geographic – August 19, 2022)


Canadian Geographic’s cartographer explores the many facets of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, one of the world’s most significant wetlands

I first truly noticed the Hudson Bay Lowlands while I was creating a map that was focused on North America’s land cover. I was choosing colours for each land cover type — adding various greens for forests and yellows for cropland. But this time, instead of colouring wetlands green, I chose turquoise, a hue that reflected the space they occupy between aquatic and terrestrial environments.

A turquoise that really popped. And then: bam! It appeared. A massive swath of wetlands in northern Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, the like of which exists nowhere else in North America. I had found the Hudson Bay Lowlands.

Except the term “lowlands” really doesn’t do this region justice. I think the area should be called the Hudson Bay Wetlands. “Lowlands” simply describes the elevation of a landscape; “wetlands” describes its nature. We all have a sense of wetlands: they are flat, mucky, green places teeming with wildlife.

And, increasingly, we are beginning to understand that while they may sometimes be buggy and stinky and sloppy, they are also critically important environments for supporting biodiversity and for capturing and sequestering carbon. While so many of the world’s wetlands have been drained to make way for development, the Hudson Bay Lowlands remain intact.

For the rest of this article: https://canadiangeographic.ca/articles/exploring-the-hudson-bay-lowlands-with-chris-brackley/