In densely populated regions, it is difficult to find natural areas that have remained intact and protected from urban development. And yet, a few minutes from Montreal, there is an island little known to the public and rarely visited: Sainte-Thérèse Island. It is a paradise populated by a variety of wildlife, offering landscapes unlike any near the city. And it is precisely to preserve this biodiversity that Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is completing an important conservation project to rebuild and improve water level control facilities in a marsh that it first built on the island in the early 1980s.
A natural haven, just steps from city life
Bathed in the waters of the St. Lawrence River, facing the city of Varennes, Sainte-Thérèse Island is a striking contrast to the neighbouring and densely populated island of Montreal. On Sainte-Thérèse Island, there’s no electricity or water supply. There’s not even a dock or shuttle service for people to get there. Islanders must find their own means of travelling to the island, which is only accessible by water. But what the island lacks in modern conveniences, it makes up for in natural beauty. The island is a mosaic of exceptional natural environments. This includes a network of ponds and marshes, a coastline that once delighted swimmers and rich habitats for wildlife—especially waterfowl.
During the 1980s, DUC partnered with the Government of Quebec (which owns almost the entire territory) to create a series of ponds that would provide quality habitats for the wildlife species that frequent the island. Last spring, realizing that the facilities had reached the end of their useful life, DUC undertook a project to rebuild and improve the water control structure of the main pond. Generous contributions from the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks (MFFP) and TC Energy made the project possible.
By partnering with DUC, TC Energy took concrete action to encourage the conservation of wetlands essential to maintaining biodiversity.
Contributing to our quality of life
The conservation work carried out on Sainte-Thérèse Island will allow the many wildlife species that frequent the island to continue to enjoy quality habitats. Whether it’s turtles, for which habitat improvements have been made, nesting birds like osprey, ducks and geese, or the many mammals that roam the fields, wooded areas and banks of the island, these species will continue to benefit from a healthy environment.
But there is more. These conservation efforts are helping to safeguard some of the most beautiful landscapes in Quebec. Here on Sainte-Thérèse Island, nature contributes to our health, heritage and quality of life.