Watersheds:Water levels & Wetlands

26th Annual Symposium – May 29 & 30, 2019

OPG Visitor’s Centre



Elizabeth Hendriks

Wednesday, May 29th at 10am
Freshwater + Humans – Now and into the Future

Elizabeth Hendriks is Vice-President of the National Freshwater Programme at WWF-Canada, one of Canada’s oldest conservation organizations.  She has fifteen years of experience working nationally and internationally on water policy and last year, she led the release of the first national assessment of the health and stressors of Canada’s freshwater. With her team she is now working to reverse the decline of freshwater ecosystems across the country with the intersection of policy, technology, and community building.  She received her BA in International Development from Dalhousie University and her Masters from the University of Waterloo. 

F. Henry Lickers

Thursday, May 30th at 10:30am

Why Would Anyone Want to Buy Wetlands?

Henry Lickers is a member of Seneca Nation, Turtle Clan. He has been the Director of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Department of the Environment for the past 32 years and is now the Environmental Science Officer. He has been principle investigator on the EAGLE ( Effect on Aboriginal in the Great Lakes Environment ) Project and the Naturalized Knowledge Systems Project and the First Nations’ Community Health Indicators Project. Henry has been Director Ontario Professional Foresters Association, Scientific Co-Chair of The Haudenosaunee Environmental Taskforce, Vice President of the Board of Directors, St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences and a member of the Board of Directors for the Eastern Ontario Model Forest.


Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 – OPG Visitor Center
(Free session)

Community Science Day 
9:00 am- 12:00 pm
Hands-on exhibitors, meet Environmental Groups
10:00 am- Keynote Speaker – Elizabeth Hendriks, VP WWF-Canada

Special Workshop – Data Science (Interested participants only)
1:00 to 4:00 pm

The Great River Rapport is seeking input from all scientists and data holders for the Upper St Lawrence River region (from Cape Vincent/Kingston to Lake St Francis).  The workshop is intended to produce a summary of the ecological research datasets that exist for the region and to identify representative ecological indicators for The Great River Rapport. Please contact Leigh McGaughey, project lead, at lmcgaughey@riverinstitute.ca if you are interested in participating. 

Thursday, May 30th, 2019 (Registration required)
8:30 am-  Registration 

9:00 am-  Traditional Opening
9:20 am-  Panel Discussion Shoreline Erosion on the St. Lawrence River –
A Community Perspective

10:50 am- Keynote Speaker Henry Lickers, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne
Why would anyone want to buy Wetlands? 
11:30 am- Matt Windle,  River Institute  Water levels and ecosystem health of the St. Lawrence River
12:00 pm- Buffet Lunch
1:00 pm- 4:00 pm Concurrent Sessions A -D
Traditional Closing 

Diversity: Trends and Threats to Fish in Coastal Wetlands of the St. Lawrence River.

Session Co-Chairs: Cristina Charette and Matt Windle, River Institute

Coastal wetlands are critical for sustaining the health and diversity of the St. Lawrence River ecosystem. They provide unique habitats and protection for flora and fauna, including fish. Fish communities are threatened by multiple factors including habitat loss, eutrophication and invasive species. Since fish utilize wetlands to live, feed and reproduce, it is important to further our understanding on how coastal wetlands can modulate the influence of anthropogenic factors on fish communities. This session invites presentations on all aspect addressing fish and wetlands from the St. Lawrence River.

Wetland Matters: A St. Lawrence River Focus.

Session Chair:
Evie Brahmstedt, Clarkson University

Riparian wetlands in the Upper St. Lawrence River display a wide variety of morphological diversity and the extensive wetlands along the shores of Lake St. Pierre in the Lower St. Lawrence River are a Ramsar site, an acknowledgement of their ecological significance.  Wetlands have been impacted by water level regulation, which has reduced biological diversity and other anthropogenic impacts such as eutrophication and channeling for navigation.  This session invites presentations on all aspect s of St. Lawrence River wetlands.


St Lawrence River Water Quality: Contaminant Sources and Impacts.


Session Chair:
Jeff Ridal, River Institute

Presentations will relate to processes affecting water quality in river ecosystems. Topics  include transport and fate of organic matter, sediments, nutrients, contaminants, pathogens, and plastics.  Projects describing the impacts of tributary inputs, water level fluctuations, and inputs from watersheds, wetlands, and urban centres on river and water quality.

Ecological Indicators: Tools for Assessing Ecosystem Health.

Session Chair: Leigh McGaughey, River Institute In our watersheds we have critically important habitats, including wetlands that provide essential services, affect flooding impacts, improve water quality, and provide refuge for a diverse array of aquatic organisms. Ecological indicators are a useful tool to track and compare ecological states or trends and can be effective for communicating information related to ecosystem health. This session will include presentations that capture and disseminate information related to the health of our watershed.


Our symposium series began in 1993 (one year before River Institute was founded) as a means to bring scientists and communities together to discuss freshwater issues. We will celebrate our 26th Annual Symposium of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Ecosystem on Wednesday, May 29th and Thursday, May 30th 2019. 

For more information contact: 

Christina Collard, Symposium Coordinator info@riverinstitute.ca

Ontario Power Generation Visitor Center

2500B 2nd Street W, Cornwall, ON K6H 5R6


This symposium is brought to you by:
Thank-you to our sponsors: