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State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program

The State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program brings together five government partners—Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC); Québec’s ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC); Québec’s ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFPP); Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO); and Parks Canada—as well as Stratégies Saint-Laurent (SSL), a non-governmental organization working with riverside communities. These partners are pooling their expertise to report regularly on the state of the St. Lawrence and how it is changing. The results of this monitoring are made available in a series of fact sheets, at the Rendez-vous St. Lawrence event and in the Overview report, which is published every five years.

[Translate to English:] Vue sur un bateau dans le Fleuve Saint-Laurent

Objectives of the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program

The State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program is a decision support tool for tracking the state of and changes in the St. Lawrence. Its aims are as follows:

  • Pool the data collected and knowledge acquired by participants and collaborators during their ongoing environmental monitoring activities.
  • Report on the state and evolution of the St. Lawrence using the scientific information generated.
  • Disseminate information regularly to decision-makers and riverside communities about the state and evolution of the St. Lawrence using means that are tailored to their needs and that facilitate access to information.

The program is based on about 20 environmental indicators corresponding to the following components:

  • Water
  • Sediments
  • Biological resources
  • Uses
  • Shorelines
[Translate to English:] Fou de bassan

How is the St. Lawrence doing?

 The environmental variables studied by the Program were selected for their representativeness and relevance in order to establish a diagnosis of the state of the St. Lawrence River as a whole and over time. The results are described in a series of St. Lawrence monitoring sheets and in the Overview.

See the monitoring sheets

The Overview of the Sate of the St. Lawrence presented the most recent findings emerging from the work conducted under the program. In 2019, the St. Lawrence River’s bill of health presented a delicate balance. Most indicators remained moderate. 

  • From 2003 to 2014, 67% of the common indicators that appeared in previous overviews remained in the moderate and moderate-good categories.
  • From 2008 to 2014, 43% of the common indicators remained stable, while the rest were split equally between deterioration and improvement.
  • From 2014 to 2019, 64% of the common indicators remained stable.

See the Results of the Overview

Rendez-vous St. Lawrence

The Rendez-vous St. Lawrence event is one of the key tools used to disseminate the results of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program. Taking place after the publication of the Global Portrait, the event brings together attendees from the government sector and priority intervention area committees to present the latest findings. The event also provides an opportunity for participants to explore ways to improve the program and its communication tools.

See the acts of the 2016 meeting

Go to 2014 overview