The shores of many Québec waterways show signs of advanced degradation. Since most Quebecers live near the water, especially the St. Lawrence River, and human behaviour and quality of life are closely tied to the quality of our shorelines, that degradation has a social, economic and environmental impact. Adverse effects include a drop in property values and a decline in commercial and recreational fishing.
Climate change, water, wind, ice and the severity and frequency of the freeze-thaw cycle are all factors that cause erosion. Human activity also plays a role by stripping away soil, channelling water or building structures that impede the natural circulation of shoreline sediments.
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Repeated passages of wake boats are yet another cause of shoreline erosion, especially when boats pass within 100 metres of the water’s edge. The wind and other watercraft operating nearby intensify the damage caused by waves.
The U.S. city of Austin funded a shoreline stabilization study from 2009 to 2014. It was such a success that the city extended its stabilization work all along Lake Austin and educated shoreline residents about the importance of stabilizing the shore on their own property.
The Pathway to Phytotechnologies and its Stabilized Ponds
Visitors always enjoy relaxing near the Ponds in the heart of the Botanical Garden. The Waterfront Garden will demonstrate how to reduce Waterfront erosion and prevent the leakage that makes it difficult to maintain water levels.
Phytotechnologies will be used to stabilize the banks and limit the spread of invasive plants (see Station 7). The Waterfront Garden will be redesigned to give visitors easier access to the water.