Weekend cleanup of Ottawa River shoreline

Par Raymond Berthiaume
Weekend cleanup of Ottawa River shoreline
Ottawa shore cleanup

More than two dozen volunteers gathered at the Côte de l’abattoir in Hawkesbury to take part in a mutual cleanup of the shoreline on both sides of the river. The Ottawa Riverkeeper environmental group organized the event in partnership with the three member regions of the Pacte d’Amitié.

More than 1000 pounds of trash was collected, preventing it from entering the Ottawa River. The event also celebrated the three-year partnership between Ottawa Riverkeeper and Argenteuil, Papineau, and the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR), the members of the Pacte d’Amitié.

 “It is with great gratitude that I thank all the participants who made these cleanups a real success on both sides of the River,” said UCPR Warden Normand Riopel of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.

Saturday’s activity was the end result of several years of collaboration between all the partners. Over the past three years, cleanups have been organized in all three regions, mobilizing and motivating local involvement. The mutual goal is to both engage in local conservation and environmental protection of the Ottawa River shoreline areas and serve as a united lobby to the Ontario and Québec provincial governments for greater emphasis on policies to protect local waterways.

“It is a pivotal time for environmental and water protection,” said Laura Reinsborough, Ottawa Riverkeeper chief executive officer. “Although the Ottawa River may act as a natural border separating Quebec and Ontario, it unites the people that live along it. We must come together to protect what we love, and we can’t let boundaries divide us. The regions of the Pacte are blazing a trail for others to follow by demonstrating how working together despite belonging to different communities is beneficial for all.”

Ottawa Riverkeeper promotes a view of water protection that takes in the entire Ottawa River watershed and the communities within that region. In a connected river system, what happens in one area of the watershed can affect the communities downstream. The conservation group credits the Pacte d’Amitié for serving as an example of what can be achieved to protect the environment by reaching across municipal and provincial boundaries.

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