Massive Cleanup!

This morning, over 30 volunteers gathered at the Côte de l’abattoir in Hawkesbury for an exciting shoreline cleanup. A truly impressive 1,010 pounds of trash was collected, preventing it from entering the Ottawa River. The event also celebrated the three-year partnership between Ottawa Riverkeeper and the three regions of the Friendship Agreement — Argenteuil, Papineau, and Prescott and Russell — who have committed to keeping the River clean through community engagement.

"The impressive results achieved through collaboration between our three regions are further proof that there is strength in numbers. This Saturday's activity was in fact the culmination of several years of collaboration that will have a lasting impact on our environment for years to come. It is with great gratitude that I thank all the participants who made these cleanups a real success on both sides of the River.”

Normand Riopel, Warden of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.

The regions of the Friendship Agreement are leaders in interjurisdictional water protection, uniting both shores of the Ottawa River and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec to push for healthier waterways and cleaner communities. Over the past three years, cleanups have been organized in all three regions, mobilizing and motivating local involvement.

“It is a pivotal time for environmental and water protection. Although the Ottawa River may act as a natural border separating Quebec and Ontario, it unites the people that live along it. We must come together to protect what we love, and we can’t let boundaries divide us. The regions of the Friendship Agreement are blazing a trail for others to follow by demonstrating how working together despite belonging to different communities is beneficial for all.”

Laura Reinsborough, Riverkeeper and CEO.

For many years, Ottawa Riverkeeper has encouraged a watershed-wide view of water protection. In a connected river system, what happens in one area of the watershed will impact the communities downstream, regardless of political borders. The Friendship Agreement serves as an example for what can be achieved to protect the environment, reaching across municipal and provincial boundaries, for the sake of the people and species that call it home. Ottawa Riverkeeper is excited to see where future collaboration could lead.

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About Ottawa Riverkeeper
Ottawa Riverkeeper, a charitable organization, is a champion and collective voice for the Ottawa River watershed, providing leadership and inspiration to protect, promote, and improve its ecological health and future. Expert and independent, our organization advocates for responsible and participatory decision-making, public education, access to information, and compliance with protective regulations. Guided by a science-based approach, we provide clear information with the aim to engage the public and empower citizens and decision-makers to ensure clean, healthy, and accessible water for all people and species.

For more information:
Olivier Berthiaume
Chief of Staff and Communications Coordinator
United Counties of Prescott and Russell
613 675-4661
[email protected]

Lucie Lafleur
Communications Advisor
MRC d’Argenteuil
450 562-2474, ext. 2306
[email protected]

Jessy Laflamme
Communications Officer
MRC de Papineau
819 427-6243, ext. 1410
[email protected]

Matthew Brocklehurst
Communications Manager
Ottawa Riverkeeper
613 321-1120, ext. 1001
[email protected]

Posted on 05/13/2023
Group photo of the organizers and volunteers in front of the facilities for the big clean-up and the pile of accumulated waste