Water quality at local beaches and recreational areas is improving!

A recent assessment of the Beach Closings Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) indicates that we are meeting all of the scientific criteria to change its status from ‘impaired’ to ‘not impaired’.

Water quality has improved at area beaches since the 1980s. Many actions have been completed by local partners under the Remedial Action Plan to improve beach water quality. A recent Assessment Report indicates that all criteria have been met in order to redesignate BUI #10 – Beach Closings from an ‘impaired’ to a ‘not impaired’ status. The St. Lawrence River Restoration Council is asking for your input on the report and status change.
A public comment period will be open from August 17, 2022 to October 16, 2022.

St. Lawrence River Remedial Action Plan

The St. Lawrence River at Cornwall (Ontario) and Massena (New York State) was designated as a binational Area of Concern (AOC) in 1987 under the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. 43 problem areas or Areas of Concern were identified in the Great Lakes where waters were considered heavily polluted. Of these, 12 were located in Canada and 5 were located in boundary waters shared between the U.S. and Canada. The remaining are located in the United States. The St. Lawrence bi-national AOC extends along the river on the Canadian side from the Moses Saunders Dam in the west to the Ontario/Quebec border in the east, and includes the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Territory. On the south side of the river, the Massena/Akwesasne jurisdiction is shared between the United States, New York State and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.

A Remedial Action Plan process was initiated for the St. Lawrence River (Cornwall) on the Canadian side and was developed by what was then Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne in conjunction with the St. Lawrence River Public Advisory Committee. The goal was to characterize the water quality issues and identify specific remedial actions needed to improve the health of the River. The plan focuses on restoring ecological impairments that were due to historic human activity.

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