Photo: St. Lawrence Week connects Québécois to their lifeblood

The mighty St. Lawrence River, stretching from the Great Lakes to the Gulf, flows through the veins of those who live along its shore — literally, and in our history and culture. Almost half the population of its coastal communities depend on the river for drinking water. It's supported the socio-cultural activities of millions for millennia. It's also a unique ecosystem, home to over 27,000 species of plants and animals — more biologically diverse than the Caribbean!

As people increasingly spend most of their time indoors, in artificially lit buildings surrounded by walls, plugged into electronics, it's easy to forget we're all interconnected with our ecosystems. But thanks to the Leadership Grants from the RBC Blue Water Project, the Foundation is reconnecting coastal citizens to their living river.

This summer, with the help of more than 20 organizations across Quebec, the Foundation launched the first St. Lawrence Week to get people outside, on and around the river, reminding them of all it provides, educating them about the threats to its health and mobilizing them to protect it.

Marking the end of the week with a splash was the Foundation's Big River BBQ community event held in downtown Montreal, where sustainable seafood from the St. Lawrence River was prepared by some of the city's top chefs and shared with passers-by.

The Foundation also launched its annual Blue Actions Challenge, providing simple tips and solutions to help citizens embrace healthy lifestyle choices at home while reducing their impact on the St. Lawrence River, Quebec's crown jewel.

- Manon Dubois Crôteau

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