A new study identifies 25 water crossings requiring priority restoration in the Montérégie region
Core issues are fish, climate change and flooding
Over the past two years, 200 bridges and culverts in the Pike River watershed — the territory drained by this waterway and its tributaries — have been visited by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). The study, funded by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, aims to identify crossings that are problematic for the movement of fish populations or pose flooding risks. Data collection took place in the municipalities of Bedford, Saint-Armand, Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, Saint-Ignace-de-Stanbridge, Pike River and Frelighsburg.
Through this study, NCC identified priority culverts in need of restoration. Of the 200 crossings studied, 10 were identified as urgent priorities for fish populations and 17 for flood risk. An interactive map (in French) is available to learn more about each location studied.
These water crossings come in many forms; in some cases, there is an actual bridge and in others there is a simple metal pipe placed on the stream bed. A pipe that is misaligned, old, too high or clogged is all that is needed for water to flow improperly, preventing fish from passing, or causing overflow. Beyond the problems that flooding poses for communities, the accumulation of water in the wrong place can also negatively affect the water quality of streams.
The next step of this project is to contact landowners and municipalities to discuss the results of this study and address the issues. It is thanks to funding from the Quebec government that this study's methodology (in French, 75 pages - 10.2 MB) and results can be shared with everyone in an effort to raise awareness about the conservation of our natural environments.
This project showcases how NCC is accelerating the pace of conservation in Canada. In the past two years alone, NCC has influenced the protection of more than 1 million hectares (almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island), coast to coast to coast. Over the next few years, the organization will double its impact by mobilizing Canadians and delivering permanent, large-scale conservation.
In the face of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, nature is our ally. There is no solution to either without nature conservation. When nature thrives, we all thrive.
"The work of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, with funding from the Projet de Partenariat pour les milieux naturels, is making a difference to ensure we protect biodiversity and maintain the connectivity of aquatic habitats. This project is a great example. It is important to ensure that water flows properly under bridges and culverts and that fish populations are able to move freely without hindrance. Thank you to the organization for contributing to the well-being of our natural environments." –Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Minister Responsible for the Fight against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region
"The municipalities and people with culverts on their property that we met with during the project were very receptive. When water doesn't flow normally somewhere, other parts of the watershed are affected. If everyone maintains their little stretch of stream, the whole river benefits!” – Chantal Cloutier, project manager, Nature Conservancy Canada
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares, including nearly 50,000 in Quebec. With nature, NCC builds a thriving world.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations.
The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a four-year grant of more than $53 millions from the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques to NCC. It provides support for voluntary conservation initiatives to ensure the protection of natural areas of interest by establishing financial partnerships with conservation organizations in the province. The PPMN thus aims to develop and consolidate Québec's network of protected areas located on private land.
The Quebec Ecological Corridors Initiative is coordinated by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec and its many partners. The project receives financial support from the Government of Quebec under the Action-Climat Québec program and is consistent with the objectives of the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy.
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