Navigation Protection Act (1985)

Formerly the Navigable Waters Protection Act


Please note: This is Federal Legislation impacting wetlands in Alberta.

The Navigable Waters Protection Act prohibits activities that could interfere with the navigability of water including approvals of work. “Navigable water” includes a canal and any other body of water created or altered as a result of the construction of any work (i.e., wetlands).


Omnibus Bill c45

The Navigable Waters Protection Act was amended and renamed the Navigation Protection Act in 2012. The act now only pertains to navigation and no longer takes environmental protection into account.  The new law only applies to the three oceans in Canada and lakes and rivers that have been qualified as important commercial and recreational watercourses.

Only five rivers and two lakes are protected in Alberta:

  • Athabasca, Bow, North Saskatchewan, Peace, South Saskatchewan
  • Lake Athabasca and Lesser Slave Lake