Great River Cleanup sign installed on The Waterfront Trail

Provided by the River Insitute
Great River Cleanup sign installed on The Waterfront Trail
left to right: Georgia Bock, River Institute; Wendy Grant, City Press; Patricia O'hara, Great River Network; Pam Carson, Great River Network; Dale Phippen, Great River Network; Robin Patterson, Artist; Mark Kaddie, Great River Network (Photo : River Institute)

The Great River Network (a network of over 50 organizations, agencies, and individuals that care for the St. Lawrence River) recently installed a sign at the end of McConnell Avenue, along the bike path. The sign is a follow-up to the Great River Cleanup event that occurred in September 2021, which oversaw the removal of 5 cubic meters of garbage and 2.8 metric tonnes of metal from the St. Lawrence River.

As a grass-roots initiative, the Great River Network has successfully completed remediation and restoration actions of significant value to the environment. These include a series of river clean ups (with more than 42 metric tonnes of garbage removed), fish habitat restoration, and addressing shoreline erosion issues. Success has been achieved through partnering with a range of organizations, including Indigenous, non-profit, governmental, Conservation Authorities, businesses, and industry partners.

In 2021, the River Institute received funding from Ontario’s Great Lakes Local Action Fund to conduct the Great River Cleanup and increase community involvement and education in river ecosystem protection and water quality monitoring. Cornwall City Press worked with artist Robin Patterson to create a sign to place along the Cornwall waterfront. This sign was installed as a reminder of the negative impacts that debris and garbage can have for the health of the river and local communities, and to increase awareness of efforts to clean up the river. The Great River Network partners are hopeful that actions contributing to this type of pollution will stop so that our Great River can continue to provide countless benefits to everyone for generations to come.

“Our Government is getting serious tackling litter in Ontario, and I am very grateful for the work the River Institute and volunteers have done to remove roughly 63 bags of garbage and more than 6,100 pounds of metal from the St. Lawrence River,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “We are proud to support projects like this through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund that benefit local communities and protect and improve the health of the Great Lakes and their connecting rivers for generations to come.”

The River Institute was established in 1994 as a unique community partnership involving the Mohawks of Akwesasne, government, education, and industry. Its mandate is environmental research and education with a focus on the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence River ecosystem. As a non-profit charitable organization, the River Institute raises its own funds for all essential costs, including salaries,

administration, overhead, and operations. To support the River Institute, visit

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