Harper Government Continues Strong Partnership with St. Lawrence River Institute

July 13, 2015

CORNWALL– On behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, visited the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environment Sciences today to highlight recent investments totaling $47,300 that continues the strong partnerships between the federal government and the Institute.

Funding from three Environment Canada programs over the past two years have assisted the Institute with an internship position, host two major international symposiums, and provided funding for a sediment study of the St. Lawrence River.

The Science Horizons Youth Internship Program provided $10,800 gives recent post-secondary graduates opportunities to gain experience that will prepare them for sustainable employment in the environmental science fields such as conservation.

The Science Horizons Youth Internship Program supports the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy. This program helps young graduates gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market.

The Government of Canada’s Great Lakes Sustainability Fund is contributing more than $2.8 million towards over 30 new projects in Canadian Great Lakes Areas of Concern, including $26,500 over the past two years for a continued sediment study project along the St. Lawrence River’s Area of Concern.

These environmental projects support the Government of Canada’s National Conservation Plan to conserve and restore our waters and lands while encouraging Canadian families to connect with natural spaces.

Environment Canada has also provided $10,000 for over two years for the past two editions of the Institute’s International Symposium on the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes Ecosystem held each May at St. Lawrence College. The Symposiums draws experts, students, scientists, and interested stakeholder to Cornwall each year to discuss technical and scientific aspects about the current state and future of the St. Lawrence River.

Quick Facts

  • Since 1997, through the Science Horizons Youth Internship Program, Environment Canada has encouraged employers to sponsor approximately 1,500 post-secondary graduates to participate in science internships.
  • Since 2006, the Government of Canada has invested nearly $403 million in targeted actions to restore and protect Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health. This includes approximately $23 million to support more than 400 partnered projects in Canadian Great Lakes Areas of Concern.

Quotes

“Through the National Conservation Plan announced by Prime Minister Harper, our Government is taking concrete action to conserve and restore our natural world while contributing to Canada’s economic prosperity. This funding is providing real and tangible support to key priorities under Canada’s National Conservation Plan.”

  • Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

“The River Institute is grateful for the continued partnerships that have been established with all levels of government over the past 20 years. The support being recognized here helps us to continue our work in protecting the health of the St. Lawrence River for this generation as well as those to come.”

  • Jeff Ridal, Executive Director St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences

During the past two years, Environment Canada has provided $47,300 in funding to the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environment Science located in Cornwall, Ontario.

Backgrounder

Program: Great Lakes Action Plan V & VI – Great Lakes Sustainability Fund
Project: Sediment Mapping in Support of the Sediment Management Strategy for the St. Lawrence River (Cornwall) Area of Concern
Amount: $26,500 over 2 years
Timeline: The funding is for work taking place in both 2014 and  2015
Description: The purpose of the project is to provide support for the ongoing Cornwall Sediment Management Strategy by sampling mercury sediment concentrations in these data-poor areas, and by testing model predictions based on variables such as distance from source contamination, depth, and sediment type.

The study team will also participate in the 10-year anniversary review of the Cornwall Sediment Strategy beginning in 2015, present the study objectives and findings to the Cornwall Sediment Strategy review committee, and undertake communication initiatives in support of the Cornwall Sediment Strategy.

Program: Contributions to Ecosystem Initiatives
Project: 21st and 22nd International Symposium on the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes Ecosystem
Amount: $10,000 for 2 years
Timeline: 2014 and 2015
Description: The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences (SLRIES) is a leader in research, education, and community action and encourages people of all ages to get involved in environmental initiatives. The two years of $5,000 in funding each year assisted to organize, host and document proceedings of the 2014 and 2015 International Symposiums on the St. Lawrence River each May at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, Ontario.

The proceedings from the forums provided: current knowledge about the state of the St. Lawrence River/Great Lakes ecosystem; summarized the findings and research papers of this annual international symposium in a report for Environment Canada; analyzed and identified science needs and research priorities for the St. Lawrence River ecosystem for resource management agencies; and developed collaboration and engaged the watershed stakeholders, communities and citizens for better environmental stewardship..

Program: Science Horizons (Contribution – Youth Employment Program HRDC Funds)
Project: Characterization of Periphytic Algal Communities of Alvar Wetlands of Ontario
Amount: $10,800
Timeline: Summer 2014
Description: The funding created an intern position at St. Lawrence River Institute. The intern worked on a project that focused on influences of climate change-related stressors on alvars by applying Everglades-derived algal inference models to status determination for multiple stressors in Great Lakes Wetlands. Field surveys at alvar sites will be conducted within the Ontario portion of the Great Lakes Basin. The project results will allow the calibration of alvar wetlands of the Great Lakes as a network of sensitive, community-based sentinels capable of indicating the early onset of climate change-related impacts.

The intern will perform sampling and testing in the field and laboratory using standard operating procedures and analytical equipment, including sample processing, algal taxonomy, and counting. The intern will also maintain necessary paperwork for data collection and conduct data entry into appropriate software programs. The intern will prepare scientific reports and other related documentation on results and disseminate these in peer-reviewed scientific journals and at conferences/workshops.

This internship took place throughout the Great Lakes Basin in Ontario with lab work taking place in Cornwall, Ontario from June 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.

Associated Links              

Environment Canada Science Horizons Program
Youth Employment Strategy
The Great Lakes (Environment Canada)
St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences

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Contacts

Karen Cooper
Communications Officer, St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences
(613) 936-6620 x 229