Located in downtown Montréal, Québec, the Centre St-Laurent’s (CSL) administrative and specialized laboratory facilities are home to several federal government departments including ECCC.
Aquatic Contaminant and Water Hydrology and Ecology research and technical staff at CSL undertake laboratory and field activities which generate scientific data and related information aimed to improve knowledge of large river ecosystems. Studies on the impacts of human activities and climate variability on organisms, plant diversity and productivity inform regulatory decisions related to water discharge levels to the St. Lawrence, “species at risk” (Species at Risk Act) and the commercial fishing industry. The fate, bioavailability and stability of new and existing contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials) in large river ecosystems are investigated using analytical tools and methods (e.g., genomics, biomarkers) which have been developed and evaluated by CSL staff. These studies enable an increased awareness of the multiple stress factors impacting large fluvial ecosystems.
Water quality monitoring surveys assessing the suitability of shellfish growing areas along Quebec’s north shore of the St. Lawrence River are coordinated and undertaken by CSL’s Shellfish Water Classification Program. These activities fulfill ECCC’s obligations under the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program. Fresh Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance scientists report on water quality and aquatic ecosystem health in the St. Lawrence River based on regular monitoring of water, sediments, wetlands and benthic organisms. Focused studies inform and address environmental issues such as eutrophication of water bodies, and the presence of other toxic substances (e.g., metals, pesticides, and polychlorinated diphenylethers).
Accredited to ISO 17025 international standards, ECCC’s Quebec Laboratory for Environmental Testing, provides chemical and toxicological analysis, scientific expertise and technical support to ECCC research and monitoring programs including the St. Lawrence Action Plan, Canadian Environmental Sustainability Index, Environmental and Wildlife Enforcement, Clean Air Regulatory Agenda and emerging priorities such as ECCC’s Chemical Management Plan.
CSL science programs support ECCC’s responsibilities under the Canada Water Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and the Fisheries Act.