Show the St. Lawrence some love: Her restoration report card is due this year By Mary Anne Pankhurst

stLawrenceriverCFN – A river of facts and fundamentals – about how to protect and nurture our local waterways – flowed into our thoughts last Wednesday night at the Cornwall Public Library.

This second lecture of 2013 – put on by the St. Lawrence River Institute – drew from a well of data stretching back more than a century.  A time during which our community’s portion of the St. Lawrence was classified as an “area of concern” due to pollution of various kinds, many that began during the industrial revolution of the 17 to 1800s.

On the surface, our relationship with the river, and the many creeks that flow into her, may not be quite as otherworldly as last month’s alien hunting.  But consider the gifts the river offers each of our “personal worlds,” from the water we drink to the pleasures we take, be they boating, bird watching, fishing, or just staring out to watch her go.

2013 is a watershed year for the river because she’s about to get a report card from the government.  It’s not quite as clear cut as a pass or fail, but will indicate whether she remains an area of concern, or has been taken off the list to let Mother Nature do the rest of the healing.

Well, Mother Nature with the help of we humans that is.

In short, here are some things that float to the top of the list of actions we can take to protect our river:

  • Conserve water with low-flow and reduced-flow faucets and toilets;
  • Soil-test to optimize the amount of lawn and garden fertilizers we use;
  • Dispose household chemicals properly through local collection days;
  • Keep septic systems in top working condition;
  • Plant trees and shrubs that help prevent erosion and provide food and habitat for wildlife;
  • Use the St. Lawrence River Institute as a “go to” for more information; and,
  • Consider getting involved in the community’s forthcoming Citizen Action Group (details to be announced soon).


Remember:  Our river’s not just a beauty.  She’s a life-giving mother and deserves our respect.

Dimitris

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