Friday, May 03, 2013

Lac Saint-Pierre

Situated along the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Lac Saint-Pierre is an unusual example in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves since it includes a major waterway in an industrialized area. The Lac Saint-Pierre is also a unique ecosystem, important for migratory birds and essential for the protection of Quebec and Canada. For instance, the largest number of herons recorded in North America is found in protected habitats in this area, which is also recognized as a Ramsar site. The Federal and Provincial governments have made considerable investments in monitoring and rehabilitating the Saint Lawrence River and recent studies on water quality shows a continuing improvement over the last 15 years. Due to declining fish stocks, fishing practices are now being questioned and fish stock maintenance is one of the challenges of the biosphere reserve. About 85,000 people live in the biosphere reserve, mostly in urban areas (2000). Their main activities are agriculture, hunting, fishing, wildlife conservation activities, resorts, boating, commercial navigation as well as trade and industry. It is believed that the designation of Lac Saint-Pierre as a biosphere reserve will bring about a change of perceptions and mentality, catalyzing a more sustainable development in the region.