2022 marks the 24th year of existence of the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, the first marine protected area in Quebec. Located at the junction of the Lower St. Lawrence, Charlevoix, North Shore and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean regions, it covers an area two and a half times the size of the island of Montréal. But what concrete actions have been taken to protect this exceptionally rich territory? Throughout the year, teams from Parks Canada and Sépaq, and their partners, work hard to study, present and, above all, protect this territory so that everyone can enjoy it for a long time to come.
The heart of the marine park’s mission is to protect an endangered species: the St. Lawrence beluga. Currently, 37% of the beluga’s critical habitat is protected by the marine park. Once again this year, the team has contributed in various ways to improve the recovery of the species.
Let’s take a look back at the past year before moving ahead into the 25th year.
20th year of the Marine Activities in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park Regulations.
194 kayak guides and captains trained in the Regulations.
203 permits issued for marine activities, filming, sports activities and research projects.
714 hours of warden sea patrols to monitor compliance with the Regulations.
25 captains and naturalists and 10 ticket agents trained in eco-responsible practices and interpretation under the Eco-Whale Alliance.
14 regulatory signs installed at marinas and boat launches around the marine protected area to indicate proper behaviour. Signage renewal will be completed in 2023.
5e year of seasonal closure to navigation in Baie Sainte-Marguerite in the Saguenay Fjord.
94% of the time without disturbance to belugas during observation periods from the shore in Baie Sainte-Marguerite (2021).
10th year that the Corporation des pilotes du Bas Saint-Laurent and the marine industry joined the voluntary slowdown to 10 knots to reduce the risk of collision with large whales off Les Bergeronnes.
Awareness raised among1 264 boaters and kayakers on the water and in marinas.
27 tours in 10 marinas near the marine park, from Cap-à-l’Aigle to Les Bergeronnes via Saguenay.
40 outings on the water by the outreach teams in the St. Lawrence Estuary, the mouth of the Saguenay River, and the Saguenay Fjord, to meet with boaters in the marine park.
880 000 people reached via Facebook posts.
101 500 unique visitors to the parcmarin.qc.ca web site.
More than 20 000 grade 3 to 6 students in Quebec attended the virtual workshops offered in collaboration with École en réseau.
1 800 views of the story The St. Lawrence Beluga and Humans at a Crossroadson Google Arts and Culture. The story has been read in a dozen countries in North America and Europe.
100th meeting of the marine park coordinating committee in Rivière-du-Loup in May 2022. The committee brings together representatives from the six riparian RCMs, the Essipit Innu First Nation, the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation and the scientific and academic community.
To explore the marine park, opt for a sea excursion with an accredited company or visit one of the 21 discovery sites around the park. If you are using your own boat, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Marine Activities Regulations.
Click on the region of your choice to see the projects that took place there during 2022.