Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Supports Infrastructure Improvements

Provided by the River Institute
Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Supports Infrastructure Improvements
New river access staircase and dock with River Institute Executive Director, Jeff Ridal, Environmental Educator/Biologist, Alanna Akkermans, and Development Officer, Elsie Lewison (left to right). (Photo : River Institute)

On Thursday, a representative for local MPP Nolan Quinn joined the River Institute Education team at the Eastern Ontario Children’s Water Festival to announce a $17,500 Capital Fund grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation. The grant funded the construction of a new river access staircase and dock for the River Institute, which is located on the St. Lawrence College Cornwall campus, to support environmental research, conservation, and education programming for Eastern Ontario communities.

“I am pleased to hear that the St. Lawrence River Institute received the Capital Fund Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Nolan Quinn, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “The funding to allow a new river access staircase and dock for the River Institute is vital for the institute’s ongoing research and delivery of education. As we are all aware, the River Institute does important work rehabilitating the St. Lawrence river and has a extraordinary reputation worldwide for the work they perform.”

The River Institute is a not-for-profit environmental science research and discovery center located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. The organization collaborates with diverse partners to conduct research, restoration, outreach, and education related to freshwater ecosystem health. Our programs require daily access to the river over much of the year, for activities that range from monitoring contaminants in sediments and collecting environmental DNA, to community clean ups and surveying fish populations with school groups.

The River Institute has been coordinating the Eastern Ontario Children’s Water Festival for 20 years now and has reached thousands of youth in the region through these special events. Water Festivals are free, multi-day environmental education events, delivered in French and English, featuring hands-on Water Discovery Centers addressing different water-related themes for grade 3-5 students and are organized with the help of high school volunteers.

“This OTF Capital Fund grant is helping us make our programs possible by improving on-site boat and water access here at the River Institute,” said River Institute Executive Director, Dr. Jeff Ridal. “The funding is providing important support for our efforts to better connect our communities with this Great River and to restore and protect our local freshwater ecosystems for generations to come.”

The River Institute was established in 1994 as a unique community partnership involving the Mohawks of Akwesasne, municipal government, education, and industry. Its mandate is environmental research, outreach and education, with a focus on the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence River ecosystem. For more information about the River Institute, visit riverinstitute.ca.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

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