Patricia Robitaille, Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs, and Hélène Bouchard, Environment Canada
The visiting stations have illustrated the contribution made by community organizations in monitoring environmental indicators, raising public awareness and implementing field initiatives. They have highlighted the importance of communicating results and the link to be made with objectives.
The St. Lawrence Global Observatory and Québec-Océan have underscored the importance of communicating results to the communities and especially the necessity of understanding the needs of the target clienteles. A vast array of tools is available, such as websites, newsletters and forums. The challenge is to find the best medium for sharing information. To reach the various clienteles in the community, it seems appropriate to have a holistic view of the state of the St. Lawrence.
Establishing the link between research activities and monitoring activities is key. Research can help environmental monitors identify future contaminants, and the monitors in turn can report changes in trends that would require special research attention. An ecosystem approach should be followed, and it is important to communicate issues and risks. We can therefore see the relevance of pairing long-term monitoring activities (systematic over the long term) with short-term monitoring activities but in a more concentrated way in time or space.
The year 2014 will be marked by the submission of the Overview of the State of the St. Lawrence River. The next Rendez-vous St. Lawrence is scheduled for 2015.