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Protect the Richelieu River: speed regulation

Protect the Richelieu River: speed regulation

A proposed regulation on boat speed

A unique opportunity to make history

In 2021, four municipalities proposed a regulation to limit boat speeds to 10 km/h and to prohibit wakeboards on a 20-kilometer stretch along the banks of Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Saint -Charles-sur-Richelieu, Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu. The following year, they adopted a draft amended regulation, resulting from a compromise with marina owners, which they submitted to Transport Canada.

This is a first in Quebec!

Photo : Jordan Cormack/Unsplash. À noter que cette photo n’a pas été prise sur la rivière Richelieu.

Photo: Jordan Cormack/Unsplash. Note that this photo was not taken on the Richelieu River

Reduce the magnitude of waves

The waves caused by too high a speed destroy the habitat of the copper redhorse, a fish which lives in only one place in the world, in Quebec, and which only reproduces in two known places, at the foot of the Saint-Dam dam. Ours and in the Chambly rapids, in the Richelieu River. The copper redhorse population size is estimated to be at most a few hundred. And because the waves also accelerate the erosion of the banks, while risking the safety of other users.

12 organizations supported speed regulations

  • MRC de la Vallée-du-Richelieu (13 neighboring municipalities) 
  • Association of residents and friends of the Richelieu
  • Montérégie Regional Environmental Council
  • Richelieu River Basin Consultation and Development Committee (COVABAR)
  • Navigation Coalition
  • Quebec Network of Environmental Groups
  • International Observatory for the Rights of Nature
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Transport Canada
  • Office of Boating Safety
  • Green Movement
  • Fondation Rivières

→ The former mayor of Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Chantal Denis, reiterated her support for the draft regulation concerning a section of the Richelieu River.

→ The MRC de la Vallée-du-Richelieu adopted a resolution at the last council meeting (at 01:03:04). Here is the text of the resolution.

Why limit speed on the Richelieu River?

Protect the copper redhorse

The waves caused by too high a speed destroy the habitat of the copper redhorse, an endangered species. This fish lives in only one place in the world, in Quebec, and only reproduces in two known places: at the foot of the Saint-Ours dam and in the Chambly rapids, in the Richelieu River. The copper redhorse population size is estimated to be at most a few hundred.

Stop bank erosion

The waves created by motorboats accelerate the erosion of the banks of the Richelieu River. The eddies caused by motorized boats are often greater than those created naturally.

Ensure the security

The high density of boats which often travel too quickly on the Richelieu River makes sharing the river difficult. It is also a safety risk for water sports enthusiasts.

Roy Dupuis and the protection of the Richelieu River

Discover the rivers for which Fondation Rivières acts positively. 

For any questions regarding our mobilization actions, please contact our communications and mobilization manager, Sophie Lachance at 514-272-2666, ext. 307.

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