Community Day

Wednesday, October 28th 2020

Fish Tank Youth Competition

High schools were encouraged to form teams of 5 students to compete in the Symposium Fish Tank Competition. Teams joined us in October prior to the Symposium for 3 virtual workshops to learn environmental sampling techniques in subjects such as Plant Identification, Soil Geology, Water Quality, and Aquatic Invertebrate Identification. These new skills and knowledge were put to the test at the River Symposium virtual Fish Tank Competition on October 28th 2020. The winning team took home a $500 cash prize!

Thank-you to our Fish Tank sponsors:

Welcome & Introductions at 9:00am EST

Fishing Apps and Technology for Fishermen

By: Lawrence Gunther, Blue Fish Canada


Recreational fishery researchers are increasingly turning to anglers to serve as citizen scientists. No longer to just report tagged fish, but to use angler apps like the Canadian-made MyCatch app from Angler Atlas. The app automatically tracks a wide variety of datasets such as angler effort and location, while calling on the anglers themselves to enter crucial details about the fish they are capturing, releasing or harvesting. This presentation will provide examples from across Canada on how such apps are successfully being used by researchers to measure fish health, and the potential of such tools to regulate recreational fisheries in future.

Where's the RAP At?

By: Jeff Ridal, River Institute

Did you know that the St. Lawrence River at Cornwall, Akwesasne, and Massena is a designated Area of Concern (AOC) by the governments of Canada, the Unites States, and Akwesasne and is undergoing recovery from a long history of severe environmental impacts from human activities?   This AOC is one of five in the Great Lakes divided by an international border: the Canadian portion is shared between Canada, Ontario, Québec and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne; while jurisdiction in the United States portion is shared between the United States, New York State and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.  A Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is addressing the environmental challenges and Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI) found in each section of the AOC to help the environmental recovery process. Dr. Jeff Ridal will discuss the current priorities of the RAP and describe how governments, communities, and local organizations are working together on collaborative projects to restore and protect the Area of Concern.

Rapport Sur le Grand Fleuve:  Rapport sur la santé des écosystèmes du fleuve Haut-Saint-Laurent

Par: Dr. Mary Ann Perron, River Institute

Le River Institute dirige un projet qui s’appelle le rapport sur le grand fleuve, un rapport sur la santé des écosystèmes du Haut-Saint-Laurent. Le rapport est encadré dans l’Ohenton Karihwatehkwen (l’Action de grâce récitée par les Haudenosaunee) et développé en partenariat avec les Mohawks d’Akwesasne. Dr Mary Ann Perron présentera une mise à jour du projet, une introduction aux indicateurs écologiques et un résumé du retour de l’information sur le projet de la communauté francophone.

Great River Rapport: Using science and stories to describe the health of the Upper St. Lawrence River

By: Dr. Leigh McGaughey, River Institute

The Great River Rapport is a River Institute project that combines scientific indicators with community feedback to define the health of the St Lawrence River. Framed in the Ohenton Karihwatehkwen (Thanksgiving Address) and developed in partnership with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, the project provides a unique expression of science, stories and art. Dr. McGaughey will present an update on the project that highlights community connections to the river and describes how scientific indicators and community stories are being brought together.

Science Q&A with Dr. Jeff Ridal, Dr. Alison Derry, Dr. Jérôme Marty, Lawrence Gunther (MSc), &  Matt Windle (MSc)

Chaired by: Dr. Mary Ann Perron and Dr. Leigh McGaughey, River Institute

The Science Q&A will allow members of the public to ask questions of scientists related to the talks from the morning and address other questions that the audience might have regarding the St Lawrence River ecosystem.

River Institute Presents the 2020 River Award

Presented by: Walter Oeggerli, Chair of the Board

The River Award was established in 2009 to recognize and encourage environmental stewardship and responsibility in the community. It is awarded annually by the River Institute’s Board of Directors to an individual or organization that sets an example of environmental awareness, conservation and respect for the St. Lawrence River and its watersheds. The 2020 recipient of the River Award was announced at 12:15 on October 28th 2020.

Canada’s environment is changing fast — and a lot of it has to do with water

By: Jérôme Marty, Council of Canadian Academies and Patrick Nadeau, Ottawa Riverkeeper

*The River Institute awarded their annual River Award at the start of this session

From its role in the very foundation of our cities to the simple beauty and mystery aquatic life provides in our own backyards, H2O is an essential part of our daily lives. Although we are fortunate to have a lot of water in Canada, scientists are reporting many changes that influence both water quantity and water quality. Using a combination of medias, Jérôme Marty and Patrick Nadeau will make the case for why H2O is perhaps the most important molecule of all and why it needs our protection. This creative presentation will surely leave you inspired.


Talking Waters: Community Discussion (Invite Only)

Hosted by: Abraham Francis and Jacey Hall, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Environment Program

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne will be hosting an open discussion with the Indigenous community to consider the concerns around the St Lawrence River and create a vision for the future. Participation by invitation only. More details to come.