St. Lawrence River (Photo by Immophoto-Patrice-Bériault)

St. Lawrence River (Photo by Immophoto-Patrice-Bériault)

Four Conserved Islands near Montreal now accessible to the public

July 5, 2018


Nature Conservancy of Canada preserves gems on the St. Lawrence River

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has unveiled recreational facilities on four of its protected islands in the St. Lawrence River. These conservation sites are now accessible for the public to enjoy and were announced at a media conference and tour with project supporters.

Nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, kayakers and canoeists now have access to the Bonfoin, Aigle, Cerfeuils and Beauregard islands, located near the eastern tip of the island of Montreal as well as the cities of Repentigny and Verchères. These are lands the Nature Conservancy of Canada has acquired for permanent protection and conservation.

The public is invited to dock at the visitor reception areas aboard non-motorized boats to enjoy the hiking trails, observation platforms and information panels that have been set up.

Map Hochelaga Archipelagp

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Offering a breathtaking view of the river and nearby towns, the islands promise a relaxing and enriching experience. Not only will the animals and vegetation delight outdoor enthusiasts, but the signs will increase visitors’ awareness of the fragility of these habitats and the importance of preserving them. These islands are now part of NCC's Nature Destinations network inviting people to take a journey through some of the greatest examples of our country’s natural areas!

Located near an important bird conservation area, the islands are home to several species at risk in Quebec, including short-eared owl, bobolink and bank swallow. There is also a multitude of fish species among the aquatic plants bordering the islands, including copper redhorse, a species that only exists in Quebec and is considered endangered in Canada and threatened in Quebec.


“We are proud to showcase these extraordinary islands, while respecting the natural environment we are protecting,” said Julien Poisson, NCC project manager. “We encourage Montreal residents and other people to take advantage of these beautiful sites in the coming days and weeks and connect with the natural beauty we have protected”.

“By offering $140,000, the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement (FHQE) contributed to the implementation of the project,” said Carlo Gagliardi, executive director of the Foundation. “The need to protect and enhance these important habitats fully justifies our commitment.”

“An investment of $124,605 has been granted to the Nature Conservancy of Canada under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150),” stated the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. “Places such as the islands of the Hochelaga Archipelago allow us to stay fit, relax and connect with our friends and neighbours.”

“The financial support we provide to our communities clearly demonstrates our commitment to sustainable growth and prosperity in Canada. By improving community infrastructure, we are helping to stimulate the vitality of our communities and ensure a high quality of life for residents of all ages,” said David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“We are proud to contribute to this project through the Community Interaction Program. We are thus promoting knowledge sharing and raising community awareness of the great wealth of our St. Lawrence River, while allowing its sustainable use,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada.


In addition to the FHQE’s contribution, this project is made possible thanks to the support of Economic Development Canada’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program as well as the Community Interaction Program, linked to the St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011-2026 and implemented by the governments of Canada and Quebec. NCC also received financial support from SC Johnson, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Government of Canada through the Youth Employment Strategy and the Fondation de la faune du Québec.

Always keen to involve the community in its achievements, NCC was also able to count on local partners, including the priority intervention zone committees and the residents and municipal administrations of Varennes, Repentigny, Verchères and the Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles borough in Montréal.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres), coast to coast, with more than 45,000 hectares (111,197 acres) in Quebec. To learn more, visit

The Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement supports organizations carrying out tangible initiatives designed to protect, restore and enhance natural habitats, and to educate target audiences about local environmental issues. Between 2001 and 2017, the Fondation awarded $14.8 million to 272 projects implemented throughout Quebec’s administrative regions. The total value of these projects is estimated at $48 million. To find out more about the various projects funded by the Fondation, visit

The Community Interaction Program (CIP) is a financial assistance program implemented by the governments of Canada and Quebec to support community-based projects that aim to conserve biodiversity, ensure sustainable uses and improve water quality in the St. Lawrence River.

The mission of the Fondation de la faune du Québec is to promote the conservation and enhancement of wildlife and its habitats. Thanks to the contribution of more than one million hunters, fishermen and trappers in Quebec, thousands of donors, and numerous private companies, the Foundation has supported more than 2,000 organizations throughout Quebec since 1987, creating a true wildlife movement.

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Media Contact:

Elizabeth Sbaglia
Communications Manager, Quebec Region
Nature Conservancy of Canada
514-876-1606 x6240

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