Ensuring Sustainable Use
Whether in the areas of sustainable management of fishery resources, the maintenance and promotion of public access points to the St. Lawrence, sustainable commercial navigation and recreational boating practices or adequate water flows to maintain the health of ecosystems, the governments of Canada and Quebec are working together to provide for the sustainable use of the St. Lawrence.
Their activities in this regard are guided by five orientations, each associated with specific objectives and projects.
Here are the five orientations:
- Promote sustainable management of fishery resources
- Promote sustainable management of water levels and flows
- Maintain and promote sustainable navigation
- Identify and promote public access points
- Improve knowledge related to hydrocarbons in the St. Lawrence System
To complement the work being undertaken by governments, non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations are encouraged to take action by presenting a project supported by their community under the Community Interaction Program.
1st Orientation: Sustainable management of fishery resources
Sustainable use is dependant on the sustainable management of aquatic species subject to fishery. In this context, it is specifically important to take stock of existing knowledge on these species and to establish mechanisms for distributing and sharing information.
2nd Orientation: Promote sustainable management of water levels and flows
In order to maintain the ecosystems in a good state, an adequat water supply is important. Such is the case to ensure the continuation of recreational, municipal and industrial activities who are taking place on the St. Lawrence river. Water levels must be evaluate based on the current climate changes and the ones to come.
3rd Orientation: Maintain and promote sustainable navigation
Making commercial navigation and recreational boating sustainable is essential to protecting the St. Lawrence’s ecosystems. To this end, the St. Lawrence Action Plan supports cooperation among the various stakeholders by creating ways to promote exchanges and discussions and by publishing awareness tools for users.
4th Orientation: Identify and promote public access points
Urban development, artificial shoreline development, and the degradation of aquatic and river habitats have resulted in the loss of several uses of the St. Lawrence River. Some recreational and public uses, as well as the quality of life for shoreline residents, are especially jeopardized by the degradation of the water and natural environments, by conflicts between users and by riverbank erosion. Sustainable use depends in part on the maintenance and development of environmentally responsible and ecosystem-friendly ways for the public to access to the St. Lawrence.
5th Orientation: Improve knowledge related to hydrocarbons in the St. Lawrence System
The St. Lawrence river system is a busy seaway where petroleum hydrocarbons transit in significant quantities. In order to better manage the environmental risks associated with the marine transportation of hydrocarbons on the St. Lawrence, increased knowledge of maritime incidents, their possible impacts on aquatic ecosystems, and the best practices to be adopted is necessary to prevent and mitigate these impacts.
Dredging Activities Registry
The St. Lawrence Dredging Activities Registry, which was established during Phase 4 of the St. Lawrence Plan, has now been integrated into the St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011-2026. Its main objective is to improve the management of dredging activities in Quebec by facilitating the long-term planning of such activities. The registry is helping to ensure that ecosystems and public health are adequately protected, while allowing sustainable navigation on the St. Lawrence to be maintained and developed.