The Government of Canada is working with communities and other tiers of government to protect and restore water quality in the St. Lawrence. Since 1988, the Government of Canada has invested $357 million in hundreds of projects and thousands of concrete actions to protect, conserve and enhance the St. Lawrence River. These actions include cleaning up the water, protecting wildlife and flora, creating and restoring wetlands and habitats, developing new river access sites, reducing the impact of agricultural activities and sustainable management of navigation.
The most noteworthy achievements are:
Click on the red dots in the map to learn more about St. Lawrence clean-up projects.
= Funded Project
= Canada-United States Border
Project : Development of Natural Areas on the Magdalen Islands
EC Investment: $36,560
Description: This project aims to restore sites that have suffered from clandestine waste disposal on the Magdalen Islands.
Status: Project to begin at the end of 2010
Project: Water conservation and preservation of its quality: A collective challenge for the Municipality of Les Escoumins and the community of Essipit
EC Investment: $33,000 out of the $67,000
Results to Date:
Description: The project’s aim is to educate residents and merchants in the Municipality of Les Escoumins and the community of Essipit on the importance of conserving drinking water in order to improve water quality.
Status: Begun in July 2009; end scheduled for December 2010
Project: Encouraging Gaspé and lower Laurentian communities to reduce the dumping of domestic waste into the environment in order to preserve marine habitats.
EC Investment: $18,820 out of the $47,150
Results to Date:
Description: The project’s aim was to educate students and residents in the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspésie region on the impact of plastic bags on marine and coastal habitats. The objective was to encourage students and residents to reduce the dumping of disposable plastic bags and other domestic products into the environment.
Status: Completed in March 2010
Project: Common Eider Community Education and Involvement Project
EC Investment: $26,154
Results to Date:
Description: With this community action project on the Lower North Shore of Quebec, local groups, schools and individuals protected populations of common eider through an education program and conservation efforts for documenting and improving the nesting rate of this species.
Project: Plan for the Protection and Development of the Barre de Sandy Beach
EC investment: $15,100
Results to Date:
Description: The project’s objective is to protect the ecological integrity of the sensitive and fragile Sandy Beach sandbar, through the supervision of the recreational activities that take place there. Results are achieved by educating visitors and offering advice on sustainable use of the area. A cleanup operation will also be conducted. Restoration of this area will remove 200 m3 of detritus and 20 tons of metal.
Status: Project began in May 2010
Project: Development of Pointe-aux-Pins on Île-aux-Grues, Phases I and II
Investment: Contribution from the Community Interactions Program: $50,868 of the $205,068
Receiving Organization: Conservation de la Nature - Québec
Description: The aim of this project is to funnel various visitors (hikers, motorcyclists, ATV users and snowmobilers) and thereby protect the ecological integrity of the site. The purpose of the proposed changes is to reduce motor vehicle traffic.
Status: Project completed in 2009
Project: Reduction in Sand Loss and Slower Erosion in the Priority Sectors on the Magdalen Islands
Investment: Contribution from the Community Interactions Program: $69,963 out of the $116,063
Receiving Organization: Mouvement pour la valorisation du patrimoine naturel madelinot
Description: The project includes a characterization phase followed by mobilization and training efforts with residents. Beach cleanup, the installation of waste collectors, as well as a promotion and awareness campaign will ensure the continuation of efforts.
Status: Project completed in 2010
Project: Restoration and protection of the spit and salt marshes in Pessamit
Investment: Contribution by the Community Interactions Program: $49,900 out of the $106,400
Receiving Organization: Comité ZIP de la rive nord de l'estuaire
Description: The aim of the project is to protect and restore a habitat of high ecological value located near the Village of Pessamit that is subject to strong pressure from human activity. The project includes the re-vegetation of eroded dunes and ATV trails, the installation of control gates as well as an initiative to educate residents who use the area. The Innu community involved in this project has been highly motivated to protect this fragile area.
Status: Project completed in 2008
Project: Implementation of a community management of molluscs in Bonaventure and Saint-Siméon
Investment: Contribution of the Community Interactions Program: $20,834 out of the $45,553
Receiving Organization: Association des pêcheurs sportifs de la rivière Bonaventure
Description: The aim of the project is to re-appropriate the harvesting of quahogs in Bonaventure and neighbouring communities. This is achieved through the community management of molluscs in order to better manage the resource in collaboration with government officials.
Status: Project completed in 2010
Project: Sustainable Navigation Strategy
Investment: $1,661,300 (between 2005 and 2010)
Objective: To harmonize commercial and pleasure boating navigation practices with the protection of the river's ecosystems.
Description: The atlas contains an inventory of nearly 500 sites covering some 700 hectares along the St. Lawrence River.
Each entry presents the restoration techniques recommended, the cost and the environmental benefits expected, the name of the contact persons providing technical support and a list of organizations that could provide financial support.
This project illustrates the science and its applications at Environment Canada and, more specifically, the interventions undertaken as part of the intervention field focussing on the ecological integrity of the St. Lawrence Plan.
Each year, the Government of Canada on average invests close to $15 million in cleaning up the St. Lawrence, with almost $8 million coming from Environment Canada.
The yearly envelope of nearly $8 million from Environment Canada is allocated as follows:
Environment Canada offers substantial scientific expertise in the framework of efforts pertaining to the St. Lawrence, carrying out or partnering in the key studies used to understand and better manage the issues that affect it. Through our science and expertise, we contribute to the sustainable management of the St. Lawrence through greater knowledge of its ecosystem and a better understanding of the various pressures on it and threats to it. The science that Environment Canada is currently engaged in pertaining to the St. Lawrence makes it possible to:
Other results from science done by the Government of Canada under the St. Lawrence Plan are also available in Fact sheets on indicators of the State of the St. Lawrence .
The St. Lawrence is one of Canada’s priority ecosystems; it stretches over more than 3,000 kilometres. This ecosystem is not only an environment for many species, but it is also an important source of drinking water and resources for the population. Moreover, it is also an artery for commercial navigation and recreational boating and a unique site for a variety of recreation activities.
Since 1989, the governments of Canada and Québec have been working to improve the St. Lawrence’s condition and restore various uses of it through the following agreements:
This long-standing collaboration has yielded tangible, substantial results in the areas of agricultural clean-up, conserving biodiversity, industrial and urban depollution, and improving human health with regard to contaminants in the river for people living along its shores. It has also led to the development of a sustainable navigation strategy in junction with the marine industry, environmental participants, governments and the public. Lastly, community organizations have implemented several hundred projects enabling the clean-up and stabilization of shoreline, development of wildlife habitat and enhancement of sites for access to the St. Lawrence.