Richelieu’s “Corridor Vert et Bleu” Green Infrastructure Project

Shoring up support!

 

A unifying project for the good of our community!

The Corridor Vert et Bleu is a green infrastructure project to improve wildlife habitat and water quality in the Richelieu River, its tributaries and Lake Saint-Pierre. It helps to preserve, restore and connect natural areas of the watershed by focusing on waterways and sensitive habitats.

The Richelieu corridor concept

Let’s help preserve the biodiversity of the Richelieu River watershed, which is home to 43 wildlife species at risk and 140 rare plant species.

Three main components:

  1. Restore shores using native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants (width of the riparian area and types of plants adapted to the terrain).
  2. Connect the natural areas of the Richelieu River watershed to improve the quality of the habitats.
  3. Continue efforts to improve agricultural and municipal practices in order to reduce inputs of suspended solids and other contaminants.

The Richelieu River

 

The goal of the Corridor Vert et Bleu is to improve

  • the aquatic habitat by improving the water quality,
  • the riparian habitat by restoring the shores,
  • the terrestrial habitat by increasing the forest area, and
  • connectivity between various natural environments.

 

We all have a role to play. Let’s be leaders in our community!

 

Examples of possible developments

 

Illustration de rives restaurées 

1- Restored shores

In the city and in agricultural areas, increase the number of riparian areas, improve their effectiveness and restore them with native trees and shrubs in order to filter the water and improve the riparian and aquatic habitat.

 

Illustration of sustainable farming practices

2- Sustainable agricultural practices

Continue to implement agro-environmental practices to conserve soils and improve the water quality.

 

 

Illustration of productive riparian strips 

3- Productive riparian strips

In some sites, develop agro-forestal riparian areas or riparian areas composed of shrubs and herbaceous plants to provide shoreline residents with an income.

 

Illustration of a natural corridor

4- Preserved and connected natural areas

Create a wider natural corridor near sensitive habitats or habitats that support species at risk.

 

Illustration representing a waterway that evolves naturally in the space

5- Free area

Let waterways evolve naturally instead of limiting them to human-built channels.

 

Illustration representing water retention using a shoreline marsh

 

6- Water retention (shoreline marsh)

Preserve wetlands, develop retention structures (inlets, basins, marshes, etc.) and restore flood plains in order to mitigate overflows and capture sediments.

 

 

Illustration representing water retention using an inlet

7- Water retention (inlet)

Preserve wetlands, develop retention structures (inlets, basins, marshes, etc.) and restore flood plains in order to mitigate overflows and capture sediments.

The Richelieu River watershed, naturally...

  • Its water is drunk by 95% of the population living in the watershed area.
  • The poor water quality of the Richelieu River compromises several uses and impacts wildlife habitats.
  • There are cyanobacteria (commonly called “blue-green algae”).
  • This diversified environment supports over 50% of Quebec’s freshwater fish species.
  • It is home to 25% of species at risk, including the Copper Redhorse, which is found nowhere else in the world.
  • There is a steady and worrying reduction in the Yellow Perch population in Lake Saint-Pierre due to the poor quality of its habitat and of the water from its tributaries (moratorium on fishing).
  • It has some of the best farmlands in Quebec.
  • The survival of a number of rare wildlife and plant species is at risk.
  • Only 16% of the watershed has forest cover.
  • Fish and other species suffer from developmental problems.

 

Acting together to

  • Bring stakeholders together and pool existing tools and programs
  • Work on subwatersheds, starting with the tributaries of the Richelieu River
  • Raise public awareness of the biological and economic wealth in the Richelieu River watershed
  • Target priority intervention sites (areas that contribute the most to the degradation of water quality and areas of significant ecological value)
  • Stabilize and restore shores using native plants (to reduce soil loss, prevent flooding and reduce erosion)
  • Encourage landowners’ voluntary participation
  • Offset “ecological services” (environmental benefits gained) and protect these investments (agreements, easements, etc.)

 

Benefits for everyone

  • Job creation and a green economic stimulus
  • Increased yield of our natural resources and access to them
  • Reduced costs for maintaining waterways and for treating drinking water
  • Promotion of good agro-environmental practices and harmonious coexistence in agricultural environments
  • Improved quality of life (air, soil, water, landscapes)
  • Increased regional wealth
  • Profitability for future generations

 

You are a partner of choice in this project. Let’s maximize gains and pool our resources.

 

The Corridor Vert et Bleu will improve on the following actions:

Agro-environmental actions by Quebec’s Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation, the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs, the Union des producteurs agricoles, Agri-environmental Advisory Clubs, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Maintenance of waterways by regional county municipalities

Reforestation by the Department of Natural Resources, the Agence forestière de la Montérégie and forestry groups

Protection of ecosystems by conservation organizations

Fishways, protection of natural areas, and stocking and artificial breeding for the Copper Redhorse

Restoration work and work to improve the water quality in urban and agricultural areas

Action plan by the Commission régionale sur les ressources naturelles et le territoire

Water intervention projects and master plan by the Comité de concertation et de valorisation du bassin de la rivière Richelieu (COVABAR)

Contribution by the Fondation de la Faune du Québec to carry out wildlife development work in agricultural environments and protect sensitive areas

 

For more information: Ministère des Ressources naturelles

Telephone: 450-928-7608