Pre-Conference Field Trip – St. Lawrence Estuary in Charlevoix Region – May 15-16 2023
Departure: May 15th @ 10:00am from the Chateau Frontenac
Return: May 16th @ 1:00pm to the Chateau Frontenac
Note: All times are approximate and subject to confirmation
This year, EFC is working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and their community partners to offer an overnight field trip to discover the St. Lawrence River Estuary and learn about local efforts to advance conservation in the UNESCO Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve. Hubert Pelletier-Gilbert, NCC Quebec’s Director of Partnerships and Indigenous Relationships, will be our guide and share his deep experience working collaboratively to advance conservation goals in Québec, where the provincial government has been a strong supporter of natural land protection, reaching the 17% target in 2020 and aiming for 30% by 2030.
A boat tour with Jean Bédard, a scientist and Founder and CEO of Duvetnor, will provide a unique view of this fragile marine ecosystem, part of the Saguenay – St. Lawrence Marine Park. Located in the heart of the estuary, the lower Saint-Lawrence islands are a bird paradise, where the diversity of habitats allows many species to breed and feed. The steep cliffs of Îles du Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie are home for thousands of nesting Razorbills, Common Murres and Black Guillemots, while the small bays along the shores of Île aux Lièvres are important rearing sites for Common Eiders. Our timing in May is ideal for birdwatching!
After out boat tour, we will head to the town of Baie Saint-Paul, known for its beautiful setting, numerous art galleries, and rich culture, where we will enjoy dinner and our evening together at the Hotel and Spa Le Germain Charlevoix.
The next morning, we will deepen our understanding of the various challenges to maintain the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve’s objectives with a visit to the local interpretive centre. Our discussion will then continue as we hike along the recently protected area of Baie Saint-Paul beach, joined by local community leaders and grassroots organizations engaged in public education, including the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve, GUEPE (United Group of Educators-Naturalists and Professionals in the Environment) and ZIP Saguenay-Charlevoix.
The field trip is currently capped at 24 guests due to size constraints of our tour boat. The estimated cost for this ‘priceless’ experience is approximately $900 per person, though this will be confirmed when numbers are finalized. The price includes all costs (e.g., transportation, accommodations, tour, meals) other than personal incidentals.
If you are interested in joining this trip, please indicate so here or send an e-mail directly to Thea Silver so that we have an idea of potential numbers. We will provide you with the final agenda and cost details by the end of March and will require that you confirm your participation at that time. Field trip spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any questions, please contact Thea.
We look forward to this unique opportunity to learn about the history of the Charlevoix protected areas, with its unique federal-provincial national marine park, and the upcoming challenges and opportunities that face the stewards of this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.