Gatineau River Vision 2030
It’s been a long hard winter of COVID-19 restrictions. As the warmer weather arrives, many of us are looking forward to hot summer days on the Gatineau River (Te-nagàdino-zìbi). What are you looking forward to? Swimming in cool clean water?
Sitting on the shore watching for birds, animals, and other creatures? Floating carefree with the current? Catching a big fish for dinner? Paddling and exploring the river’s bays and inlets? Going for a sunset boat cruise?
The Gatineau River is still one of the cleanest in Quebec — some even drink from it. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in people wanting to live near it and use it, which is only natural, because it’s a gem!
Now, let’s try to imagine what the river will be like in 2030... Will it be the same? What worries you about the future of the Gatineau? Development, traffic, safety, pollutants, runoff, shoreline erosion, water quality, climate change, flooding? Considering the downturn in health of so many rivers and lakes in Canada and around the world, how long can our river and its biodiversity sustain some of the destructive human activity that affects its health?
Friends of the Gatineau River is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization acting as the eyes and voice of the Gatineau River. It works with community partners and local governments to protect and improve its health and safety. We, at FOG, want to engage the community to build a common Gatineau River Vision 2030 and determine the priorities and direction for FOG and community in the coming years. We want to hear from everyone associated with the Gatineau River: residents, visitors, motorboaters, paddlers, swimmers, businesses, paddling and sailing clubs, nature lovers, elected officials, etc. Our plan is to:
Launch a survey to capture views on Gatineau River Vision 2030, to be completed by May 2, 2021, www.tinyurl.com/GRVision2030. As an incentive, there will be a draw for a rental of two paddle boards donated by PaddleFit.
The survey results will be presented at the FOG annual general meeting to be held online on May 20, 2021, at 7 p.m. It’s an opportunity to have community discussions about the future of the river and what to do about it.
From May to July, 2021, in partnership with the municipalities on the Lower Gatineau and the MRC des Collines, FOG will be involved in engaging the community in detailed consultations and data gathering about boating safety to determine non-regulatory and regulatory solutions as per a rigorous Transport Canada process. (Contrary to rumours, this is not to ban all motorboats, but to curb destructive wakes and speed.)
Let’s discuss and work together to protect and enjoy in harmony the precious Gatineau River.
For more information or to get involved, please visit us www.fog-arg.org or www.facebook.com/amisgatineauriverfriends.org.
Rita Jain moved to Chelsea seven years ago to be close to the Gatineau River, and is the current president of Friends of the Gatineau River.