St. Lawrence River (Cornwall/Akwesasne) RAP: Working together to improve the health of our river

Krystine Therriault - Seaway News
St. Lawrence River (Cornwall/Akwesasne) RAP: Working together to improve the health of our river
Caption: Curtis Lazore (Great River Network), Mark Kaddie (Great River Network), Melissa Dakers (Watersheds Canada), Chloe Lajoie (Watersheds Canada), Bailey Ruest (River Institute), Elizabeth Grohman (River Institute), and Joran Ann Kevan de Haan (Volunteer) at a Watersheds Canada Planting workshop last summer. (Photo : Stephany Hildebrand)

This week’s edition of the Seaway News contains an update on the St. Lawrence River (Cornwall/Akwesasne) Remedial Action Plan (RAP) on pages 10 and 11.

The St. Lawrence River at Cornwall/Akwesasne was named an area of concern in 1987 due to historic pollution and environmental degradation. The RAP was developed to identify specific remedial actions needed to improve the health of the river and its ecosystems.

Seaway News recently sat down with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s RAP Coordinator Britney Bourdages, the River Institute’s RAP Coordinator Georgia Bock, and River Institute’s Emma Ridael to discuss the progress of the RAP.

The MCA and River Institute are two of many organizations involved in the RAP, who work together restoring the various environmental challenges. These challenges are referred to as BUIs or Beneficial Use Impairments.

Communities along the St. Lawrence River including Cornwall and Akwesasne have had to deal with the negative impacts of pollution for a long time due to the area being a major shipping channel and home to many industries.

The team was happy to share that they are close to changing the Beach Closings BUI to ‘Not Impaired’ after many actions were taken to improve beach water quality.

“The progression of the partnerships between organizations facilitating and delivering remedial actions under the RAP have been moving forward and growing in a really positive way” shared Bourdages.

Today, many organizations have committed to working together to improve the river’s BUIs and monitor the river’s health.

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