Preface

St. Lawrence Action Plan

In 1988, the governments of Canada and Quebec began working together with various collaborators to conserve, restore, protect and enhance the St. Lawrence. Building on their existing achievements, the governments are continuing and expanding their collaboration under the St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011–2026 (PDF, 377KB), which consolidates the efforts of a record 18 government agencies and departments. In order to support decision-makers in governing the St. Lawrence, the Parties agree to maintain and improve decision support tools such as environmental monitoring and environmental prediction.

State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program

The partners of the Working Group on State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring are Environment Canada, Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Quebec’s Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs (MDDEFP). Stratégies Saint-Laurent, a non-profit organization that brings together Quebec’s ZIP (areas of prime concern) committees, is also associated with the program.

The purpose of the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program is to pool the data collected and interpreted by the participants and collaborators in light of knowledge acquired in the course of their ongoing environmental monitoring activities. The program proposes a series of 21 indicators relating to the main components of the St. Lawrence, namely water, sediments, biological resources, uses and shorelines.

Rendez-vous St. Lawrence

Rendez-vous St. Lawrence was held on March 12 and 13, 2013, in Montréal at the Holiday Inn. Organized by the Working Group on State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring, the event provided an opportunity for participants and collaborators to present the latest results of the 21 environmental indicators of the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program. Time was also set aside for other stakeholders to present and discuss their St. Lawrence monitoring activities.

This was the fourth edition of the Rendez-vous. Initially launched in Quebec City in 2003, the Rendez-vous was later held in Nicolet in 2006 and the 20th anniversary of the St. Lawrence Plan was marked in Quebec City in 2008. The Rendez-vous is one of the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program’s dissemination mechanisms prescribed in the St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011–2026.

Close to 110 guests turned out for the event to share and learn the latest results of the State of the St. Lawrence Monitoring Program as well as to participate in plenary discussions on how certain aspects of the current program could be improved. Participants came from (non-governmental) environmental organizations, river user groups, universities and the various levels of government concerned with the state of the St. Lawrence.