Protecting the Ottawa River
More than 1,271 km long and the main tributary of the St. Lawrence River, the Ottawa is the 13th largest river in North America. More indigenous species of mussels live there than in all rivers of Europe combined. Its watershed, larger than England, feeds over 300 species of birds. Though it supplies water to two Canadian provinces and a number of First Nations territories, no single agency is dedicated to its health and future.
Conscious of the need to protect this essential natural resource, the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation has invested over $500,000 to raise community awareness of Ottawa River conservation. In association with Blue Legacy and Ottawa Riverkeeper, the Foundation aims to convince riverine communities, governmental authorities, and leaders of the importance of rehabilitating the Ottawa River. There is a need to improve water quality, foster understanding of the effects of dams on the ecosystem, and increase compliance with laws and regulations.
This initiative will culminate in AquaHacking 2015 – Ottawa River Summit, to be held in May 2015. Illustrating the Foundation’s belief in the power of new technologies, the event will mark the end of a competition among hackers from Quebec and Ontario who collaborated with mentors and field experts to develop digital applications and provide technological solutions to challenges facing the Ottawa River.