The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée de la Rivière-Marralik in 2009. The expansion of the territorial reserve for protected area purposes was approved in the fall of 2020 following the submission of a joint brief from the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. The legally protected status contemplated for this territory is that of a “biodiversity reserve,” which is governed by the Natural Heritage Conservation Act.
The Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée de la Rivière-Marralik was initially designated in 2009, then expanded in 2020. This territory is located between the communities of Kuujjuaq and Kangiqsualujjuaq, in the southern portion of Ungava Bay. The territory covers essential subsistence areas for the communities, which harvest Arctic char, salmon, and fur-bearing animals there. It straddles part of the migratory caribou calving grounds north of the 52nd parallel, a significant habitat for the George River migratory caribou. This territory intersects with the operating territory of two outfitters, which indicates a certain tourism potential.
No natural resource exploration or exploitation activity (mining, energy and forests) is allowed in the territory of the territorial reserve for protected area purposes. The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks will ensure the maintenance of the administrative and legal provisions that their prohibition requires.