River Institute, Nature Inspiration Award Finalist

Provided by the River Insitute
River Institute, Nature Inspiration Award Finalist
Project lead for the Great River Rapport, Dr. Leigh McGaughey (right), with local community member and former fisherman, Ian Macintosh (left). (Photo : Stephany Hildebrand)

The River Institute is a proud finalist of the 2022 Nature Inspiration Award, presented by the Canadian Museum of Nature, and given to individuals or organizations whose leadership, innovation and creativity connect Canadians with nature, and inspire action towards a sustainable future. In the Community Action category, the River Institute was recognized for the Great River Rapport, a science-based project that engages communities in assessments of the health of the Upper St. Lawrence River which is being carried out in partnership with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

“What an honour to be considered for this award – we are very excited to be recognized by the Canadian Museum of Nature,” stated Dr. Leigh McGaughey, lead scientist for the Great River Rapport project. “Our team at the River Institute, together with many collaborative partners and volunteers, continue to work hard to interpret the science and express results in ways that engage communities along the Upper St. Lawrence River.”

To date, more than 2500 people have contributed to the Great River Rapport through data collection and scientific review, community workshops, and educational programs. River Institute scientists are conducting an in-depth scientific evaluation of 35 ecological indicators to provide a detailed report of health trends and research needs related to the Upper St. Lawrence River. At the same time, the Great River Rapport offers opportunities for people to learn about the health of the ecosystem through stories, Indigenous Knowledge, educational programs, and art. An interactive website provides links to all aspects of the project here: https://riverrapport.ca/.

The River Institute was established in 1994 as a unique community partnership involving the City of Cornwall, government, education, business and industry, and the Mohawks of Akwesasne. 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. Grants, sponsorships, and donations provide specific funding for research and special projects, together with unrestricted contributions from individual donors and River Champions. To support the River Institute, visit https://riverinstitute.ca/donate/.

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