The shores of the St. Lawrence River: an ecosystem to be protected
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is expanding its focus in Quebec into new communities.
It has identified the municipalities of Saint-Anicet, Sainte-Barbe and Dundee due to their natural environments with high ecological importance. The charitable organization hopes to work closely with area residents to help protect privately owned lands. NCC feels a balance can be achieved through human and agricultural activities while also conserving and respecting nature.
With the support of the Community Interaction Program and the Fondation de la faune du Québec, NCC will be raising awareness with property owners along the St. Lawrence River over the next two years.
NCC staff will offer to meet with residents and help identify the species on their property and inform them about the ecological characteristics of their lands. In this way, NCC hopes to encourage a voluntary commitment to protect ecosystems. The organization intends to support owners who are interested in donating or selling their lands for conservation.
Area residents may learn more by contacting Valérie René, the project coordinator at NCC, at 1-877-231-3552 ext. 6293 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An environment of great ecological wealth
"The St. Lawrence is at the heart of our history. That is why the Government of Québec is providing financial assistance for this unifying and community-oriented project, which aims to raise awareness among owners of natural riparian environments regarding the importance of protecting the resources of the St. Lawrence. It is through these types of initiatives that, together, we will improve its ecosystem," explained Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change.
"The south shore of Lac Saint-François (a widening of the St. Lawrence River) is composed of wetlands and woodlands that provide important ecological services to the river, such as water filtration, which improves water quality," says Valérie René, project coordinator at the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec.
The area is also a prime habitat for species such as the map turtle, which is designated as vulnerable in Quebec under the Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species (ARTVS), and Blanding's turtle, which is designated as threatened in Canada under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and in Quebec under the ARTVS.
The forests and floodplain areas are home to sensitive plant species such as southern wild rice (likely to be designated threatened or vulnerable), ostrich fern, which is designated as vulnerable in Quebec under the ARTVS, and butternut tree, considered endangered in Canada under SARA.
NCC has been working in the St. Lawrence River sector for over 30 years. To date, thanks to its funders and partners, including the Community Interaction Program, NCC has protected more than 3,460 acres (1,400 hectares) of natural habitats between Lac Saint-Louis and Lac Saint-Pierre.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada thanks the following donors for their financial support for these projects: the St. Lawrence Action Plan through the Community Interaction Program and the Fondation de la faune du Québec. We also recognize local partners such as the Haut-Saint-Laurent ZIP Committee and Les amis de la Réserve nationale de faune du lac Saint-François.
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 has helped to protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) across the country, including 111,197 acres (45,000 hectares) in Quebec.
The Community Interaction Program (CIP) is a financial assistance program that supports community-based projects to conserve and improve the St. Lawrence ecosystem. As part of the St. Lawrence Action Plan (SLAP 2011-2026), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques du Québec (MELCC) are implementing this program.
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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