At 3900 km2, the Peace-Athabasca Delta is one of the largest inland freshwater deltas in the world, a huge, complex and dynamic ecosystem. Located deep within the Mackenzie River Basin in northeastern Alberta, it is an oasis of biological productivity. Its productive grasslands, marshes and lakes are home to a variety of wildlife species, waterfowl and abundant fisheries. Its rich and abundant natural resources have provided sustenance and spiritual well-being to the Aboriginal peoples of the region for millennia – and continue to do so today.
The delta’s ecosystem has evolved with, and is driven by, seasonal and annual water-level fluctuations. Periodic high water events are of particular importance as they play an important role in replenishing the major lakes and surrounding wetlands with fresh water and nutrients. These flood events maintain a variety of plant successional stages, contributing to the high biological productivity and diversity that characterizes the delta.