Fathom Five National Marine Park
|Fathom Five marine park|
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
|Nearest city||Tobermory, Ontario|
|Area||112 km2 (43 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Parks Canada|
Fathom Five National Marine Park is a National Marine Conservation Area in the Georgian Bay part of Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada, that seeks to protect and display shipwrecks and lighthouses, and conserve freshwater ecosystems. The many shipwrecks make the park a popular scuba diving destination, and glass bottom boat tours leave Tobermory regularly, allowing tourists to see the shipwrecks without having to get wet.
Many visitors camp at nearby Bruce Peninsula National Park and use the park as a base to explore Fathom Five and the surrounding area during the day.
Fathom Five also contains numerous islands, notably Flowerpot Island, which has rough camping facilities, marked trails, and its namesake flowerpots, outlying stacks of escarpment cliff that stand a short distance from the island, most with vegetation (including trees) still growing on them.
Established in 1987, the park represented a pioneering departure for the national park system, which had centered on land-based conservation until then. Its designation as a National Marine Park foresaw the creation of others, though nomenclature for such units would morph into National Marine Conservation Areas, leaving Fathom Five as the only National Marine Park. Despite its unique name, it is categorized as an NMCA, and is deemed the first one in the country.
In 2006, a new visitors' centre opened to serve Fathom Five National Marine Park and the Bruce Peninsula National Park. Designed by Andrew Frontini of Shore Tilbe Irwin + Partners, the CAD $7.82 million centre, approached by a boardwalk, features an information centre, reception area, exhibit hall and theatre. A 20-metre viewing tower was also constructed to provide visitors with aerial views of the surrounding park and Georgian Bay. The centre was designed with environmental sustainability in mind, receiving $224,000 from the Federal House in Order initiative for implementation of innovative greenhouse gas reduction technology.
- "Canada 150: Five national parks to visit with the free discovery pass". CTV News. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
- "Parks Canada Hosts Opening Ceremony for a New Visitor Centre at Fathom Five National Marine Park of Canada and Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada". www.canada.ca (Press release). Parks Canada. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
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