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THE QUEBEC REGION BULLETIN
FEBRUARY - MARCH 2012/VOLUME 15/NUMBER 1
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The St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011-2026:
The adventure continues!
Action Plan 2011-2026

On November 29, 2011, Canada’s Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Peter Kent, and the Quebec Minister of Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs, Pierre Arcand, signed the Canada-Québec Agreement on the St. Lawrence 2011-2026, also known as the St. Lawrence Action Plan. It is the fifth agreement between the two levels of government dedicated to the protection and sustainable development of the St. Lawrence.

The goal of this agreement is to protect and preserve the St. Lawrence and provide a framework for actions undertaken jointly by ten federal departments and eight provincial ministries. It also seeks to continue efforts to establish integrated management of the St. Lawrence. A joint investment of $70 million over the course of the next five years on the part of the federal and provincial governments will serve to implement the 2011-2016 joint action program, one of the highlights of the agreement.

Within the framework of this action plan, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard will be participating in some thirty projects associated with the three priority issues identified in the agreement—conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use and improvements to water quality. These projects involve a number of Department and Canadian Coast Guard areas of action. The St. Lawrence Action Plan will also include a component dedicated to climate change.

In addition, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will continue its participation in the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program by gathering and analyzing data associated with indicators providing information on the state of health of the St. Lawrence. The Department will also contribute to a new program, the Numerical Environmental Prediction Program for the St. Lawrence, which will help to anticipate certain phenomena and assess their impact with an eye to producing decision-making tools. These numerical environmental predictions will notably deal with water (currents, temperature, waves, levels, flow, quality and salinity), ice and snow, ecosystem health and precipitation.

The Agreement will also bring about the implementation of integrated management for the St. Lawrence, a networking-based endeavour that will take shape with the establishment of twelve regional round tables, six of which will be established by 2016. These round tables will bring together local decision makers, users and the general public.

Since the first edition of the Agreement was signed in 1988, concerted action on the part of governments has produced tangible results, including a 99-percent reduction in liquid toxic waste emissions from the 50 largest polluters on the St. Lawrence, the creation of the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park and the introduction of the Sustainable Navigation Strategy for the St. Lawrence.

For more information, visit the St. Lawrence Action Plan website.


Evelyne Dufault