This project has generated a considerable dataset of environmental health indicators for the Upper St. Lawrence River that connects nearshore food web health (invertebrates and minnows) to habitat, species invasion, predation pressure, water quality, water levels and other environmental changes. Through this work, the River Institute and Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) have established a network of Canadian and U.S. researchers and partners conducting surveys and monitoring the Upper St. Lawrence River.
The project is already informing governments and stakeholders about water quality, benthic invertebrates, fish population indices, and overall ecosystem health in relation to habitat characteristics and environmental change. Results have been shared through scientific publications and conferences, community outreach and education programs, and social media. This unique dataset provides the scientific basis needed to guide restoration and conservation efforts and policies. This data will also contribute to an ecosystem health report for the Upper St. Lawrence River, known as the River Rapport, with an anticipated release date in 2020. Funding from Ontario Power Generation (OPG), MNRF SARSF grants, WWF & Loblaw Water Fund, and private foundations have been critical in supporting this work.
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