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Starting the Conversation

Have Your Say

In 2019, we hosted a workshop and shared the concerns of the public with scientists that work on the Upper St. Lawrence River to help identify ecological indicators that could be used to guide efforts to address these concerns. Initially, 73 indicators were proposed. In collaboration with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and 50 scientists, we selected a final suite of 35 indicators based on a number of factors, including their relevance to the Upper St. Lawrence River ecosystem, importance to the public, and responsiveness to change.

The final suite includes indicators related to water (x 3), land use (x 5), species diversity (x 5), plants (x 2), fish populations (x 7), contamination indices (x 6), birds and wildlife (x 5), and invasive species (x 2). These indicators fall into 10 themes: water, land, plants, invertebrates, fish, birds, wildlife, diversity, contaminants, and invasive species. The data collection for all selected indicators is ongoing and we are asking all scientists with published work related to these indicators to contribute their findings to the project. As we progress with the data compilation, we continue to have conversations with community members, listening to their stories and experiences from lifetimes spent on the water. We are bringing these stories together with the scientific indicators to provide a better understanding of this river ecosystem.

Community Interests

Global Challenges, Local Concerns

The survey gathered feedback from the public on their interests and concerns regarding the St. Lawrence River. It also posed an open question “What do you feel are the greatest challenges to the ecosystem?” The individual responses to this question revealed 5 threats that align with well-known global threats to biodiversity These threats are:

1. Changes in land use
2. Exploitation
3. Pollution
4. Inasive species
5. Climate change

We have included these threats in our discussions for this health report and will share the way these threats play a role in the ecological health of the system.

Community Concerns

Survey Map